Farewell to Mystic Mountain
Huangfu Ran (~ 716-769)
All day the water flows until it fades, unseen,
At dusk, when grass grows deep in spring and earth recedes—
At times, it’s true, the dogs will bark and chickens squawk,
But who would pull an almond nut from berry seeds?
Sòng Zhèng Er Zhī Máo Shān
Shuǐ liú jué jiàn zhōng rì
Cǎo cháng shēn shān mù chūn
Quǎn fèi jī míng jī chǔ
Tiáo sāng zhǒng xìng hé rén
Transliteration and Notes
Send-Off Zheng Two ’s Mao Mountain
Water flows vanishes stream all day
Grass long deep mountains evening spring
Dog barks chicken squawks how-many places?
One mulberry seeds almonds what man?
“Mao Mountain” or Mount Mao is located in the modern Jiangsu province and is considered a holy Daoist site. According to legend, during the reign of Emperor Jing (188 B.C. – 141 B.C.) of the Western Han Dynasty (206 B.C. – 9 A.D.), the three brothers Mao Ying, Mao Gu, and Mao Zhong traveled to the mountain. There they cultivated themselves and treated people for their illnesses, thus obtaining immortality. During its peak, the mountain houses 257 temples with over 5,000 rooms, but later suffered from wars and nationwide turmoil.
In addition to being an excellent nature poet, with twenty-six surviving poems, Huangfu was famous for his landscape painting. These explore the natural beauty of his environment when he lived as a hermit and nostalgia for his native village of Anding (modern Gansu province).
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