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Po Chu-I - The Ruined Home

Identifier

012871

Type of Spiritual Experience

Background

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 [1918]

The Ruined Home

Who was the far-off founder of the house,
With its red gates abutting to the road? --
A palace, though its outer wings are shorn,
And domes of glittering tiles. The wall without
Has tottered into ruin, yet remain
The straggling fragments of some seven courts,
The wreck of seven fortunes: roof and eaves
Still hang together. From this chamber cool
The dense blue smoke arose. Nor heat nor cold
Now dwells therein. A tall pavilion stands
Empty beside the empty rooms that face
The pine-browed southern hills. Long purple vines
Frame the verandahs.
Mount the sunken step
Of the red, joyous threshold, and shake down
The peach and cherry branches. Yonder group
Of scarlet peonies hath ringed about
A lordly fellow with ten witnesses
Of his official rank. The taint of meat
Lingers around the kitchen, and a trace
Of vanished hoards the treasury retains.
. . . . .
Who can lay hold upon my words? Give heed
And commune with thyself! How poor and mean
Is the last state of wretchedness, when cold
And famine thunder at the gates, and none
But pale endurance on the threshold stands
With helpless hands and hollow eyes, the dumb
Beholder of calamity. O thou
That would protect the land a thousand years,
Behold they are not that herein once bloomed
And perished; but the garden breathes of them,
And all the flowers are fragrant for their sakes.
Salute the garden that salutes the dead!

The source of the experience

Po Chu-I

Concepts, symbols and science items

Concepts

Symbols

Castle
Garden

Science Items

Activities and commonsteps

Commonsteps

References