Stone Gate Monastery on Mount Lantian
In the setting sun, mountains and waters were lovely.
The tossing boat trusted the home-blowing wind.
Enjoying the strangeness, unaware of distance,
I followed all the way to the source of the spring.
Afar I loved the lushness of clouds and trees;
At first I thought the route was not the same.
How could I know the clear flow turned?
Suddenly I passed through the mountain ahead.
I left the boat and readied my light staff,
Truly satisfied with what I encountered:
Old monks — four or five men,
At leisure in the shade of pine and cypress.
At morning chants the forest has not yet dawned;
During night mediation, mountains are even stiller.
Their minds of the Tao reach to shepherd boys;
They ask a woodman about worldly affairs.
At night they lodge beneath the tall forest;
Burning incense, they sleep on clean white mats.
The valley stream's fragrance pervades men's clothes;
The mountain moon illumines the stone walls.
Seeking again I fear I'd lose the way;
Tomorrow I will go out to continue my climb.
Smiling I'll leave the men of Peach Blossom Spring:
When blossoms are red I will come to see them again.
tr. Pauline Yu
Everyman Library Pocket Poets, 1999
ed. Peter Harris