Climbing The Heights At Ho-fu Mountain

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Where is Peach Blossom Spring?

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Climbing The Heights At Ho-fu Mountain
Yuan Hongdao 1768-1610

Climbing The Heights On The Double 
Ninth Festival At Hofu Mountain

High pavillion, overlooking vast cliffs,
        and below,
stream-paths bordered by flowers,
I imagine that the people who fled
        the government of the Qin
               and entered the mountains
                        began their journey here.
Pool waters lap the mountain lichens;
        where lichens run out, 
                red mists emerge.
Old dragons clutch skinny rocks;
        angry whirlpools, 
                swirling here for a thousand ages.
On the stream, only fishermen;
which of them knows how far the petals float?
No, that story is done, 
        though the white clouds are ever new,
                and those people are gone,
                        though the green mountains remain,
...I hang my bag of dogwood blossoms from a branch,
        whistle out loud as I lean against a tree
                of cinnabar red.
JiǔRì Dēnɡ Gāo HéFùShān
Yuán Hóngdào 1568-1610

Gāoɡé fǔ cānɡyá,
Xià yǒu huā yuán lù.
Liào dé bì qínrén,
Rù shān cónɡ cǐ qù.
Tánshuǐ xǐ shān fū,
Fū jìn hónɡ xiá lù.
Lǎo jiāo jiā shòushí,
Qiān ɡǔ pán wō nù.
Xī shànɡ jìn yúlánɡ,
Shuí shí huā liú chù.
Shì wǎnɡ báiyún xīn,
Rén qù qīnɡshān ɡù.
Guà què zhūyú nánɡ,
Chánɡ xiào yǐ dānshù.
Translator: Jonathan Chaves 齊皎瀚

From Jonathan Chaves's book Pilgrim of the Clouds, Yuan Hung-tao, John Weatherhill, Inc. 1978

A Journey to Peach-Blossom Spring
by Yuan Hongdao
'When I had bid farewell to the Long brothers and was about to weigh anchor. Long Xiang came suddenly to praise the fine sights around Peach-Blossom-Spring. I said "It's a famous historical site, well worth visiting even if it has no beautiful scenery" So I ordered the boat to sail upstream, while Long Xiang travelled by land. He joined me at Hefu Mountain that evening. The next day, the Double Ninth Festival, we climbed to the mountain top. The two coloured rocks by the brook served as beautiful foils to the green pool, so we went down to sit there, not leaving until nearly noon. Our boat moored at Peach-Blossom-Spring County that evening The mountain scenery delighted our eyes, and the stream lashed angrily at the fish enclosure as I strolled up to the Confucian Temple. A hundred feet of flagstones, as level and smooth as water, gleamed crystal clear in the moonlight. Pavilions and streets enveloped in smoke were another wonderful feature of the mountain country. That night, chatting with the monks, I told them I was born in a region of rivers and lakes where there was not a single rock within a hundred li so that it was a pleasure to see even what looked like a hillock. What good luck had endowed this county with such beautiful hills and gullies? Could it be that landscapes too were determined by Karma? When the monks could not answer this, I retired for the night.'

"Today Wuling is best known as a mountain range in northwest Hunan province. East of here is a Peach Blossom Spring (Taoyuan) district. This suggests that the original story may have been set in northwest Hunan province." John Thompson, Qin master

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