Midnight in the Garden

BY LIU TSONG-YUEN

T'ang Dynasty (Ancient Style)

The midnight hours were passing
And sleep still past me flew;
My mind—so keenly working—
Could hear the dropping dew.
So from my bed arising
I open wide the door—
The western park revealing,
And hills that heavenward soar.
Across the Eastern ranges
The clear moon coldly shines
On bamboos, loosely scattered,
And trailing mountain vines.
And so intense the stillness,
That from the distant hills
I hear the pigeons cooing,
And murmuring streams and rills.
For hours I have been thinking,
As in a silent dream,
And now beyond the mountains
I see the dawn's first gleam.