The Man Who Dreams of Fairies
Po Chü-i (772-846)

There was once a man who dreamt he went to Heaven:
His dream-body soared aloft through space.
He rode on the back of a white-plumed crane,
And was led on his flight by two crimson banners.
Whirring of wings and flapping of coat tails!
Jade bells suddenly all a-tinkle!
Half way to Heaven, he looked down beneath him,
Down on the dark turmoil of the World.
Gradually he lost the place of his native town;
Mountains and water—nothing else distinct.
The Eastern Ocean—a single strip of white:
The Hills of China,—five specks of green.
Gliding past him a host of fairies swept
In long procession to the Palace of the Jade City.
How should he guess that the children of Tzŭ-mēn[62]
Bow to the throne like courtiers of earthly kings?
They take him to the presence of the Mighty Jade Emperor:
He bows his head and proffers loyal homage.
The Emperor says: “We see you have fairy talents:
Be of good heart and do not slight yourself.
We shall send to fetch you in fifteen years
And give you a place in the Courtyard of Immortality.”
Twice bowing, he acknowledged the gracious words:
Then woke from sleep, full of wonder and joy.
He hid his secret and dared not tell it abroad:
But vowed a vow he would live in a cave of rock.
From love and affection he severed kith and kin:
From his eating and drinking he omitted savoury and spice.
His morning meal was a dish of coral-dust:
At night he sipped an essence of dewy mists.
In the empty mountains he lived for thirty years
Daily watching for the Heavenly Coach to come.
The time of appointment was already long past,
But of wings and coach-bells—still no sound.
His teeth and hair daily withered and decayed:
His ears and eyes gradually lost their keenness.
One morning he suffered the Common Change
And his body was one with the dust and dirt of the hill.
Gods and fairies! If indeed such things there be,
Their ways are beyond the striving of mortal men.
If you have not on your skull the Golden Bump’s protrusion,
If your name is absent from the rolls of the Red Terrace,
In vain you learn the “Method of Avoiding Food”:
For naught you study the “Book of Alchemic Lore.”
Though you sweat and toil, what shall your trouble bring?
You will only shorten the five-score years of your span.
Sad, alas, the man who dreamt of Fairies!
For a single dream spoiled his whole life.

[62] the Immortals

Christina Georgina Rossetti (5 December 1830 – 29 December 1894)

Where sunless rivers weep
Their waves into the deep,
She sleeps a charmèd sleep:
Awake her not.
Led by a single star,
She came from very far
To seek where shadows are
Her pleasant lot.

She left the rosy morn,
She left the fields of corn,
For twilight cold and lorn
And water springs.
Through sleep, as through a veil,
She sees the sky look pale,
And hears the nightingale
That sadly sings.

Rest, rest, a perfect rest
Shed over brow and breast;
Her face is toward the west,
The purple land.
She cannot see the grain
Ripening on hill and plain;
She cannot feel the rain
Upon her hand.

Rest, rest, forevermore
Upon a mossy shore;
Rest, rest at the heart’s core
Till time shall cease:
Sleep that no pain shall wake,
Night that no morn shall break,
Till joy shall overtake
Her perfect peace.

12 thoughts on “October-17

  1. The Man Who Dream-Land

    Palacious wo crimsoared alooked down beness.
    One mountains he lity.
    Twings and flain;
    She cange
    And his bowing, he acknothing elds of coach-bells—stime of appoiled his whore;
    Rest, ress rive-score yeavenly Coared aloft throde on the back of a whing else distern Ocean—a singe
    And his body was one with the dually lost theil,
    She sence of dewy mists.

    Liked by 5 people

  2. The Peace Where Shadows Are

    There was a man who dreamt
    Where sunless rivers weep
    Dark turmoil of the World
    For twilight cold and lorn
    Lives in the Courtyard of Immortality
    He hid his secret, dared not tell it abroad
    So that no pain shall wake
    A night no morn shall break
    Rest, rest, forevermore
    In the empty mountains
    To come one with the dust and dirt of the hill
    And time shall cease the striving of mortal men
    Long past withered and decayed, half way to Heaven

    Liked by 6 people

  3. ‘beyond wings’

    she dreamt a dark past
    his palace a throne for golden vows
    turmoil else fairies
    shall ocean their eyes
    no one left to tell

    full sings the water
    absent her head
    a morning rest
    a keenness swept in
    he once rode years

    eating kings
    through years beneath her dust
    his affection dared will
    with his flapping talents
    he soared loyal

    Liked by 6 people

  4. no-sleep

    christina georgina you will only dream of sleep
    awake and woke and watching through the waves
    beyond your shadowspace still body absent eyes

    – bring on the skystrip turmoil of your sunless no-sleep dreams
    one live and flapping crimson wing one sadly withered hand
    the rockstar skull a severed head and nothing ripening –

    hid in that empty timedust that you cannot see or change
    by the break of morning sweat you are already way past
    your lost appointment with the dark alchemic star of sleep

    Liked by 7 people

  5. Woke from sleep

    One night, she dreamt the World, a dream of turmoil and kings. Awake she left for the purple land, beyond mountains and water, rain and rivers, green hills and fields of corn. Toward the west, a place of mists and shadows, dirt and dust, the Jade City of mortal men.

    Liked by 5 people

  6. Beneath Heaven

    In twilight he rode on shadows
    Through the sunless veil of immortality
    Severed from kith and kin
    Lost in dark turmoil
    His decayed wings and teeth
    Seek the ripening children
    To fetch his morning meal
    He cannot feel, cannot see
    The savoury and spice
    The wonder and joy
    Only the dust and the dirt and the pain
    A procession of nothing

    Liked by 5 people

  7. Rivers Cannot Feel Rain

    —————White-plumed turmoil
    ———dark — distinct
    ——water swept
    ————in long procession
    ——————beneath perfect mists
    —————————to the City of toil
    ————where sleep is dreamt
    —————and rivers
    ——————lost in dust and dirt
    ————————fetch for mortal men

    Sean, when you move this to the other page, if possible, can you remove the lines but keep the spacing, please? Thanks!

    Liked by 5 people

  8. Hello! First Timer here…

    No Morn Shall Break

    December twilight
    White-plumed, cold, and lorn
    A single star
    Once a man
    Lived for thirty years
    A single dream spoiled
    Halfway to Heaven
    Time shall cease

    Liked by 5 people

  9. ‘heart’s rest’

    she came from very far
    to seek perfect peace
    in palaces
    and in the shadows

    but she sees God
    in the rosy morn
    in the waves
    in the mountains
    and she hears the nightingale
    that sings

    she woke from sleep
    and vowed a vow
    to God
    she acknowledged
    her secrets
    and dared to tell it abroad

    that she sees God
    in the sky
    in the land
    in the ripening grain
    she sees His hand
    and she is in
    perfect peace

    Liked by 4 people

  10. Time that Dreamt shall Wake in the Courtyard of Immortality


    the Gods, Shadows, Fairies, and Mortal Men take their joy in perfect peace like courtiers of earthly charmèd kings:

    They eating their morning meal was a dish of coral-dust and at night drinking sipped an essence of dewy mists

    Their teeth and hair daily withered and decayed

    They soared beneath waves into the deep of the Eastern Ocean

    Their ears and eyes gradually lost their keenness

    They soared aloft in long procession of the gliding Past

    They would take to the presence of twilight lost in the mountains and hills of Night

    They omitted a white-plumed crane, two crimson banners, five specks of green Alchemic Lore and five-score years of the dark turmoil of the World

    They fetch twice bowing the gracious words of Love and affection

    They would learn full of wonder and joy where sunless sleep sleeps

    They would seek in vain through a veil of rain the bells they lost at the wake of Night in the Palace of Pain five-score thirty years past

    They came to see their morning meal was a dish of dewy mists and their drinking at night was an essence of coral-dust they sipped

    They rode on the back of the Nightingale-Emperor to seek shadows of Love and affection

    They would send loyal homage of coach-bells, a dish of coral-dust and a white-plumed crane daily watching for a single dream of Love to come

    They would rest a perfect rest deep in the shadows of heavenly mountains in the sky led by a single withered star

    They acknowledged aloft the Red Terrace upon the purple shore of Sleep

    They vowed a vow they would learn Alchemic secret of joy daily watching for a single dream of Lore to come

    They would look to see they soared aloft in the long procession of forevermore Past in the presence of the Night-Emperor

    They would absent the purple shore of Sleep in the presence of the pale sky gliding in flight

    They rode in the Red Terrace Coach with whirring of wings and flapping of coat tails led by the Heavenly skull daily watching for a single night of shadows to come

    They swept coral-dust, rosy mists, withered teeth, golden bells and white-plumed hair from the dewy deep fields of jade

    They acknowledged their sleep ripening upon the Ocean in the West

    They would face toward the sky at morn and dared not tell it their ways of loyal daily homage to the presence of Emperor Naught

    They lost the Book of the Common in Wonder abroad in the golden hills of the far Night ocean

    They would face toward the sky at twilight and tell it their joy daily watching for a single shadow on the pale sky of Love to come

    They their presence acknowledged by their shadows in dreams in the land beyond Sleep

    They hid their dreams in the place from where Love springs if indeed such things there be

    They bow to the empty throne

    They their lot acknowledged

    They face their presence


    all shall cease

    Liked by 4 people

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