The Lotus

by Ryokan

English version by John Stevens
Original Language Japanese

First blooming in the Western Paradise,
The lotus has delighted us for ages.
Its white petals are covered with dew,
its jade green leaves spread out over the pond,
And its pure fragrance perfumes the wind.
Cool and majestic, it raises from the murky water.
The sun sets behind the mountains
But I remain in the darkness, too captivated to leave.

-- from Dewdrops on a Lotus Leaf: Zen Poems of Ryokan, Translated by John Stevens

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The Lotus