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by Zhou Dunyi (1017 - 1073, Song Dynasty)
English translation: Miao Guang

I love how lotuses grow out of the mud untainted;
how they dance among clear ripples without any sense of temptation. Their stems hollow yet erect, blooming in an untrespassing, but converged manner. Their ever refreshing and omnipresent scent; standing erect and serene. Such is something that is not to be frivolously played with but only appreciated from distance.

English translation: Hsin-Yu Huang

While flowers on land
contend for beauty and glamour,
Lotuses quietly spread their scents
from the cyan waters of the pond.
They do not vie with peach blossoms and plums
for the spring wind,
But deliver coolness to the stream of summer heats.

── from Zhou Yuangong Ji (Collection of Zhou Duke of Yuan’s Works)