Wednesday, July 22, 2015


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.


Wang Wei
tr. Pauline Yu
Everyman Library Pocket Poets, 1999
ed. Peter Harris