Qu Yuan

The Mountain Spirit - Poem by Qu Yuan

There seem to be a man in the deep mountain,
Clad in creeping vine and girded with ivy,
With a charming look and a becoming smile.
'Do you admire me for my lovely form?'
She rides a red leopard - striped lynxes follwing behind -
Her chariot of magnolia arrayed with banners of cassia,
Her cloak made of orchids and her girdle of azalea,
Calling sweet flowers for those dear in her heart.

'I live in a bamboo grove, the sky unseen
The road hither is steep and dangerous; I arrive alone and late.
Alone I stand on the mountain top
While the clouds gather beneath me.

'All gloomy and dark is the day;
The east wind drifts and god sends down rain.
Waiting for the divine one, I forget to go home.
The year is late. Who will now bedeck me?

'I pluck the larkspur on the mountain side,
The rocks are craggy; and the vines tangled.
Complaining of the young lord, sadly I forget to go home.
You, my lord, are thinking of me; but you have no time,'

The man in the mountain, fragrant with sweet herb,
Drinks from the rocky spring, shaded by pines and firs.
'You, my lord, are thinking of me, but then you hesitate.'

The thunder rumbles and the rain darkens;
The gibbons mourn, howling all the night;
The wind whistles and the trees are bare.
'I am thing of the young lord; I sorrow in vain.'

Comments about The Mountain Spirit by Qu Yuan

  • (11/21/2013 12:36:00 PM)

    The person in the poem was a female, a deity of the mountain, Shan Gui ?? (mountain ghost) . Her counter part was a male deity of the river, named Hé bó ?? (river uncle) . They were the deities of the early Chinese shamanism. The author, Qu Yuan, might make this a metaphor of a dismissed patriotic royal official (himself) longing to gain favor and back to services of the country. (Report) Reply

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Poem Submitted: Friday, August 10, 2012

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