Visit to the Stone-Gage Temple in the Sapphire Mountains
With the sunset hills and streams aglow,
I sailed as far as the wind would blow.
Since curious minds made distance light,
I’d trace upstream to the source on the height.
Lush trees far yonder reached the clouds.
The limpid curled through mountain crowds
Till O, who’d have thought, this ridge so fair!
I left the boat and walked with a stick:
Indeed it was nice where’er I’d pick!
Some elderly monks were, under a pine,
Enjoying the shade both cool and fine.
Ere dawn the sutras were sung with a will,
And the sitting at night made the mountains more still.
E’en a cowherd boy seemed part of the holy joy,
The woodman alone knew the outside world!
The nights were passed in the forest vast
With incense burning and mats clean, unfurled.
My clothes smelt sweet—from the gullyside flowers,
And the stone-wall shone in the moonlight showers.
In case I’d be lost, I tried to see it twice.
Next morn I’d leave this temple so nice.
I smiled good-bye to those happiest of men,
“When flowers re-rouge I’ll come again!”