The Blue-Green Stream

Wang Wei

Translated by Florence Ayscough and Amy Lowell

Every time I have started for the Yellow Flower River,
I have gone down the Blue-Green Stream, 
Following the hills, making ten thousand turnings,
We go along rapidly, but advance scarcely one hundred li.
We are in the midst of a noise of water,
Of the confused and mingled sounds of water broken by stones,
And in the deep darkness of pine trees.
Rocked, rocked,
Moving on and on, 
We float past water-chestnuts
Into a still clearness reflecting reeds and rushes.
My heart is clean and white as silk; it has already achieved Peace;
It is smooth as the placid river.
I love to stay here, curled up on the rocks, 
Dropping my fish-line forever.