THE LAKE OF THE TEN THOUSAND MOUNTAINS

I throw the line in from this little island.
The water is clear and my heart is protected.
The fish pass under the trees of the lake.
Along the promontory monkeys swing on the vines.
The wandering beauty of former days took off her necklace
in these mountains, the legend says.
I look for her but I have not found her.
The songs of the rowers lose the way to the moon.


Mong Hao-Jan –Chinese 8th century (tr. W. S. Merwin)