I have a place on the Chungnan slopes.
Sitting there you can see the Mountains.
No one there, no guests, the gate is closed.
No plans all day, just time and silence.
Nothing stops you gazing and dreaming.
Why not come and try to find me there?
A mountain apart, and not a man in sight,
Only an echo of the talk of men:
Returning light makes way through the deep woods
And shines upon the green moss to rise again.
Passing the Temple
Tonight he walks with his light stick,
Stops by the Tiger Stream’s source,
Asks us to listen to the mountain sound,
Goes home again by clear waters.
Endless blossoms in the stillness.
Bird-cries deep in the valleys.
Now he'll sit in empty hills.
In pine-winds, feel the touch of autumn
Visiting the Temple of Accumulated Fragrance
I didn’t know where the temple was,
pushing mile on mile among cloudy peaks;
old trees, peopleless paths,
deep mountains, somewhere a bell.
Brook voices choke over craggy boulders,
sun rays turn cold in the green pines.
At dusk by the bend of a deserted pond,
a monk in meditation, taming poison dragons.
My Retreat at Mount Zhongnan
My heart in middle age found the Way.
And I came to dwell at the foot of this mountain.
When the spirit moves, I wander alone
Amid beauty that is all for me...
I will walk till the water checks my path,
Then sit and watch the rising clouds –
And some day meet an old wood-cutter
And talk and laugh and never return.
To reach the Yellow-Flowered River
Go by the Green-Water Stream.
A thousand twists and turns of mountain
But the way there can’t be many miles.
The sound of water falling over rocks
And deep colour among pines.
Gently green floating water-plants.
Bright the mirrored reeds and rushes.
I am a lover of true quietness.
Watching the flow of clear water
I dream of sitting on the uncarved rock
casting a line on the endless stream.
To Qiwu Qian Bound Home After Failing an Examination
In a happy reign there should be no hermits;
The wise and able should consult together....
So you, a man of the eastern mountains,
Gave up your life of picking herbs
And came all the way to the Gate of Gold --
But you found your devotion unavailing.
...To spend the Day of No Fire on one of the southern rivers,
You have mended your spring clothes here in these northern cities.
I pour you the farewell wine as you set out from the capital --
Soon I shall be left behind here by my bosomfriend.
In your sail-boat of sweet cinnamon-wood
You will float again toward your own thatch door,
Led along by distant trees
To a sunset shining on a far-away town.
...What though your purpose happened to fail,
Doubt not that some of us can hear high music.
At daybreak I head for Pa Pass.
Spring and I together leave Ch’ang-an.
A woman washes clothes in bright water.
The birds at dawn sing in the light.
River country. Boats here are markets.
Mountain bridges cling to treetops.
Climbing up, a hundred villages.
In the far sun the Two Rivers.
People here speak another language,
But the birdsong's just like my country's.
Understanding the depths of landscape,
Even here I am never lonely.
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