Li Po - A Song of Adieu to the Queen of the Skies, after a dream voyage to her
Type of Spiritual Experience
A description of the experience
A Song of Adieu to the Queen of the Skies, after a dream voyage to her
Seafarers tell of the Fairy Isles.
Hid in the spray from great seas,
They are not easily sought.
Yueh people say the Queen of the Skies
Can, for brief moments,
Be seen in the light of rainbows
High in the air above Heaven’s dome
With overawing red ramparts
above the Five Peaks
On Heaven’s terrace, great leagues above,
It faces, as if it might fall, towards the south east
To dream my way to Wu and Yueh
I flew the other night over Mirror Lake;
Mirror Lake’s moon chased my shadow
Flew with me as far as Darting Brook.
The Palace of the good Duke Hsieh still stood
Where the green waters rushed
And the gibbons howled.
There I took the Duke’s climbing clogs for feet
For I wished to ascend his blue cloud ladder;
And from half way up I saw the Sun spring from the sea,
Heard the crow from above of Heaven’s cock
But in a thousand crags the path became unclear
And I became lost amongst wild flowers
in the cracks and crevices.
I lay down on a rock and rested.
Suddenly dark fell
Affrighting the forests, aye
And the piled up peaks
The clouds were black, black, aye
And the rain came
The waters were still, still, aye
And making mists
Then lightning flashed
And the peaks collapsed
And the rock guarding Heavens grotto
Split in two
And there – a great blue cavern
I could not see the ground
Sun and Moon on the roof of silver and gold
Then with Rainbows for their raiment,
And the winds for their horses
The Cloud princesses came riding by
Then came the Queen’s tigresses
A phoenix drew her chariot
And all her fairy folk
Were like fields of flax
My spirit was elated
My senses were stirred
Awe engulfed me
And I sighed aloud
Then I awoke to find nothing
but pillow and quilt.
Lost, the vision of vapour and cloud.
And so may joy be lost
And here below, the waters in rivers
All eastward flow
And so I lost my Queen
When to return?
Upon this green hillside
I’ll keep a white deer to ride
For the time when I
Can visit your glorious peaks again.
For how can I drop my glance
Or bow my waist to the Great
Who will never let me show
My true heart and face?