◎ Guandao Ridge: Herbal
From that year on I came to love the herbal families, but only
In the summertime did I call on my earthly petty kinsfolk.
Each of their specific characters was easily committed to memory,
For instance cockscomb flowers stood high in the morn’s light.
At eventide rush wicks sat cross-legged upon the oil burners,
Lighting up aroma trees in the woods, and themselves as well.
Plentiful rain fell on Guandao Ridge, where I espied gold-coin bushes,
As the poor luckily got a relative of wealth in secluded mountains.
Sunbeams penetrated layers of foliage, suggesting that worn-out
Days be stepped upon by one or two squirrels.
Near the shady slope of Big Dipper grass grew morning glories entangled,
While white amaranths attracted butterflies with cherished possessions
As royal as a princess. Too intoxicated by grass breaths
To speak any words, they even forgot their birthplace.
All became collectively attached to the seclusion, and
Used to put a bright side lower than their own daily life.
Then I stayed in a thatched cottage, drank dews, wore cotton clothes,
And buried myself deep in the suffusing vital essence though not a elf.
I felt enriched with herbaceous plants; I drearily listened to autumn raindrops;
I prepared honewort soup for
I gazed at dandelions repeatedly, and sent their pistils far away.
Now the herbal age goes afar, and at the end of mountain ridges
Protrude cliffside jujube trees with red dates on--long-parted lanterns.
I do not consider them fruit; I say that dabs of redness
Respond to a snowstorm to witness the unshakable sincerity.
An old friend as I am, carrying a lantern for so many years;
I cannot open my heart due to desolation; I use the local dialect;
Hardly can I record the sweetness and bitterness upon the terrific mountains.