Peach Blossom Journey
|Fishing boat pursue water love hill spring
Both banks peach blossom arrive ancient river crossing
Travel look red tree not know far
Travel furthest blue stream not see people
Mountain mouth stealthy move begin cave profound
Mountain open spacious view spin flat land
Far see one place accumulate cloud tree
Nearby join 1000 homes scattered flower bamboo
Firewood person first express Han surname given name
Reside person not change Qin clothing clothing
Reside person together live Wu Ling source
Still from outside outside build field orchard
Moon bright pine below room pen quiet
Sun through cloud middle chicken dog noisy
Surprise hear common visitor contend arrive gather
Compete lead back home ask all town
At brightness alley alley sweep blossom begin
Approach dusk fisher woodman via water return
Beginning reason evade earth leave person among
Change ask god immortal satisfy not return
Gorge inside who know be human affairs
World middle far gaze sky cloud hill
Not doubt magic place hard hear see
Dust heart not exhaust think country country
Beyond hole not decide away hill water
Leave home eventually plan far travel spread
Self say pass through old not lost
Who know peak gully now arrive change
Now only mark entrance hill deep
Blue stream how many times reach cloud forest
Spring come all over be peach blossom water
Not know immortal source what place search
|A fisher’s boat chased the water into the coveted hills,
Both banks were covered in peach blossom at the ancient river crossing.
He knew not how far he sailed, gazing at the reddened trees,
He travelled to the end of the blue stream, seeing no man on the way.
Then finding a crack in the hillside, he squeezed through the deepest of caves,
And beyond the mountain a vista opened of flat land all about!
In the distance he saw clouds and trees gathered together,
Nearby amongst a thousand homes flowers and bamboo were scattered.
A wood-gatherer was the first to speak a Han-era name,
The inhabitants’ dress was unchanged since the time of Qin.
The people lived together on uplands above Wu Ling river,
Apart from the outside world they laid their fields and plantations.
Below the pines and the bright moon, all was quiet in the houses,
When the sun started to shine through the clouds, the chickens and dogs gave voice.
Startled to find a stranger amongst them, the people jostled around,
They competed to invite him in and ask about his home.
As brightness came, the lanes had all been swept of blossom,
By dusk, along the water the fishers and woodsmen returned.
To escape the troubled world they had first left men’s society,
They live as if become immortals, no reason now to return.
In that valley they knew nothing of the way we live outside,
From within our world we gaze afar at empty clouds and hills.
Who would not doubt that magic place so hard to find,
The fisher’s worldly heart could not stop thinking of his home.
He left that land, but its hills and rivers never left his heart,
Eventually he again set out, and planned to journey back.
By memory, he passed along the way he’d taken before,
Who could know the hills and gullies had now completely changed?
Now he faced only the great mountain where he remembered the entrance,
Each time he followed the clear stream, he found only cloud and forest.
Spring comes, and all again is peach blossom and water,
No-one knows how to reach that immortal place.