Ou-Yang Hsiu - At the Graveside
Type of Spiritual Experience
A description of the experience
From A Lute of Jade – Being selections from the Classical poets of China [The Wisdom of the East series] edited and translated by L. Cranmer-Byng and Dr S. Kapadia 
At the Graveside
Years since we last foregathered, O Man-ch`ing!
Methinks I see thee now,
Lord of the noble brow,
And courage from thy glances challenging.
Ah! when thy tired limbs were fain to keep
The purple cerements of sleep,
Thy dim beloved form
Passed from the sunshine warm,
From the corrupting earth, that sought to hold
Its beauty, to the essence of pure gold.
Or haply art thou some far-towering pine, --
Some rare and wondrous flower?
What boots it, this sad hour?
Here in thy loneliness the eglantine
Weaves her sweet tapestries above thy head,
While blow across thy bed,
Moist with the dew of heaven, the breezes chill:
Fire-fly, will-o'-the-wisp, and wandering star
Glow in thy gloom, and naught is heard but the far
Chanting of woodman and shepherd from the hill,
Naught but the startled bird is seen
Soaring away in the moonland sheen,
Or the hulk of the scampering beast that fears
Their plaintive lays as, to and fro,
The pallid singers go.
Such is thy loneliness. A thousand years,
Haply ten thousand, hence the fox shall make
His fastness in thy tomb, the weasel take
Her young to thy dim sanctuary. Such is the lot
For ever of the great and wise,
Whose tombs around us rise;
Man honours where the grave remembers not.
Ah! that a song could bring
Peace to thy dust, Man-ch`ing!