HAVING CLIMBED TO THE TOPMOST PEAK OF THE INCENSE-BURNER MOUNTAIN
Up and up, the Incense-burner Peak!
In my heart is stored what my eyes and ears perceived.
All the year — detained by official business ;
To-day at last I got a chance to go.
Grasping the creepers, I clung to dangerous rocks ;
My hands and feet — weary with groping for hold.
There came with me three or four friends.
But two friends dared not go further.
At last we reached the topmost crest of the Peak ;
My eyes were blinded, my soul rocked and reeled.
The chasm beneath me — ten thousand feet ;
The ground I stood on, only a foot wide.
If you have not exhausted the scope of seeing and hearing,
How can you realize the wideness of the world?
The waters of the River looked narrow as a ribbon,
P'en Castle smaller than a man's fist.
How it clings, the dust of the world's halter!
It chokes my limbs: I cannot shake it away.
Thinking of retirement,^ I heaved an envious sigh.
Then, with lowered head, came back to the Ants' Nest.
' I.e., retirement from office.