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MOUNTAIN RETREAT
by Guanxiu (832 - 912, Tang Dynasty)
English translation: Miao Guang

How long have vanities ever lasted since the past?
Evanescent waves overflow all day long;
King of Han’s ruins covered in autumn weeds,
And Lord Wu’s palace swallowed by silent nights.
A house full of gold, yet the covetous heart refuses to rest,
A head full of white, but still pompous in manner.
Who is to know contentment makes one a buddha,
Whose woolen robes are full of fragrant nectars.

Across fields covered in dewdrops and red orchids,
I drag my leisurely steps westward to the peak.
Let the mind be like the lotus, untainted and pure,
Why turn the body into a corpse so exhausted and defiled?
From these pathways, clouds and ancient trees rise,
Out of these snowy peaks, the white apes howl.
Though to the Peach Blossom Land it cannot compare,
Upon Spring, covered in the same blossoms,
The creek will be just as fair.

── from Quan Tang Shi(Complete Collection of Tang Poems)


HIDDEN FACTS
by Shi Tao (1630 - 1708, Ming Dynasty)
English translation: Miao Guang

In a leaf, serenity;
From a flower, pleasant fragrance.
Such mere facts; Who is to know what is hidden within.

── from Zhu Shi Mei Lan Tu(Painting of Bamboo, Rock, Plum, and Orchid)