"Writing in Thanks to Minister Meng Jian Yi for the Gift of Fresh Tea" By Lu Tong (790-835)
The late morning sun is high and I was absorbed in sleep;
Your general knocked at my gate loud enough to frighten the Duke of Zhou!
He announced that you, the Imperial Adviser, expressly sends a package, It came wrapped in white silk and sealed in three layers.
I broke the signets as if you were right here with me,
and we examined three hundred moon-shaped tea cakes.
Similarly, we were transported to the mountains at new year,
the resting insects now riding on a spring breeze.
As the Son of Heaven awaits trying Yang Xian Tea,
All the plants dare not bloom beforehand.
Kind winds have quietly woven pearl-like jade necklaces,
As early spring issues yellow golden shoots,
They were plucked fresh, baked slowly, sweetly,
then sealed and packed to a refined, simple perfection.
This most venerable tea is suited for kings and nobles;
How could it arrive at this mountain man's home?
I close my wooden gate to visitors,
Alone, donning my silk cap I decoct and taste the tea.
Jade green clouds lure as plumes puff,
and white froth like floating light, congeals in my bowl.
The first bowl anoints lips and throat,
A second bowl breaks through any melancholy.
With the third bowl, rumination reaches the pit of my stomach,
out of the depths are revealed new insights into wisdom texts.
The fourth bowl issues light perspiration, and
all of life's grievances are dispersed through my pores.
The fifth bowl purifies to the depths of my flesh and bone;
After six, I am with the transcendent ones,
The seventh need not be consumed,
Yet afterwards, I feel a pure wind bearing me gently under my arms~
The fabled island abode of Immortals, where is it?
I, Master Jade River, riding this pure wind has returned.
From on high, Immortals manage the land below,
standing aloof from material pursuits, politics, and at a distance from trials and hardship.
How can they know the destiny borne by so many?
Beneath the peaks they endure bitter toil.
I ask you, Jian Yi, about those common folk,
All in all, when will they find respite?