Plucking Rushes

Green leaves,
Red shoots and
bending wind, you and I
in the same boat,
plucking rushes
at Five Lakes.
We sail at dawn
from orchid island
and rest under
the elms
till noon, you and I
plucking rushes,
had not plucked
a single rush
when the moon rose.

Anonymous, fourth century A.D.

Transformed by C.L. Quigley from Arthur Waley’s
original Chinese translations