We had warm, wet weather all spring.
Now, white autumn is clear and cold.
Dew frozen, drifting mists gone,
Bottomless heavens open over this
Vast landscape of clarity,
And mountains stretch away,
Their towering peaks an unearthly
Treasure of distance.
These fragrant woodland chrysanthemums
Ablaze, green pines lining the clifftops:
Isn’t this the immaculate heart of beauty,
This frost-deepened austerity?
Sipping wine, I think of recluse masters.
A century away, I nurture your secrets.
Your true nature eludes me here,
But taken by quiet,
I can linger this exquisite moon
Out to the end.
– T’ao Ch’ien (365-427)