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The Mountain Poems of Meng Hao-jan



At Lumen-Empty Monastery, Visiting theHermitage of Master Jung, My Departed Friend


The blue-lotus roof standing beside a pond,

White-Horse Creek tumbling through forests,


and my old friend some strange thing now.

A lingering visitor, alone and grief-stricken


after graveside rites among pines, I return,

looking for your sitting-mat spread on rock.


Bamboo that seems always my own thoughts:

it keeps fluttering here at your thatch hut.




Sent to Ch'ao, the Palace Reviser


You polish words in rue-scented libraries,

and I live in bamboo-leaf gardens, a recluse


wandering each day the same winding path

home to rest in the quiet, no noise anywhere.


A bird soaring the heights chooses its tree,

but the hedge soon tangles impetuous goats.


Today, things seen becoming thoughts felt:

this is where you start forgetting the words.





Autumn Begins


Autumn begins unnoticed. Nights slowly lengthen,

and little by little, clear winds turn colder and colder,


summer's blaze giving way. My thatch hut grows still.

At the bottom stair, in bunchgrass, lit dew shimmers.




Climbing Long-View Mountain's Highest Peak


Rivers and mountains beyond the form seen:

Hsiang-yang's beauty brings them in reach,


and Long-View has the highest peak around.

Somehow I'd never climbed its cragged heights,


its rocky cliffs like walls hacked and scraped

and towering over mountains crowded near,


but today, skies so bright and clear, I set out.

Soon the far end of sight's all boundless away,


Cloud-Dream southlands a trifle in the palm,

Warrior-Knoll lost in that realm of blossoms.


And back on my horse, riding home at dusk,

a vine-sifted moon keeps the stream lit deep.

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