A GREEN STREAM
I have sailed the River of Yellow Flowers,
Borne by the channel of a green stream,
Rounding ten thousand turns through the mountains
On a journey of less than thirty miles….
Rapids hum over heaped rocks;
But where light grows dim in the thick pines,
The surface of an inlet sways with nut-horns
And weeds are lush along the banks.
…Down in my heart I have always been as pure
As this limpid water is….
Oh, to remain on a broad flat rock
And to cast a fishing-line forever!
A FARM-HOUSE ON THE WEI RIVER
In the slant of the sun on the country-side,
Cattle and sheep trail home along the lane;
And a rugged old man in a thatch door
Leans on a staff and thinks of his son, the herdboy.
There are whirring pheasants? full wheat-ears,
Silk-worms asleep, pared mulberry-leaves.
And the farmers, returning with hoes on their shoulders,
Hail one another familiarly.
…No wonder I long for the simple life
And am sighing the old song, Oh, to go Back Again!
AT THE MOUNTAIN-LODGE OF THE BUDDHIST PRIEST YE
WAITING IN VAIN FOR MY FRIEND DING
Now that the sun has set beyond the western range,
Valley after valley is shadowy and dim….
And now through pine-trees come the moon and the chill of evening,
And my ears feel pure with the sound of wind and water
Nearly all the woodsmen have reached home,
Birds have settled on their perches in the quiet mist….
And still — because you promised — I am waiting for you, waiting,
Playing lute under a wayside vine.
Lying on a high seat in the south study,
We have lifted the curtain-and we see the rising moon
Brighten with pure light the water and the grove
And flow like a wave on our window and our door.
It will move through the cycle, full moon and then crescent again,
Calmly, beyond our wisdom, altering new to old.
…Our chosen one, our friend, is now by a limpid river —
Singing, perhaps, a plaintive eastern song.
He is far, far away from us, three hundred miles away.
And yet a breath of orchids comes along the wind.