The Place of flowers and vapour
The place of flowers and vapour is a haunt of demon spirits.
Many as are your sensuous joys, so many will be your pangs of anguish.
Snow and moon, wind and blossoms I have already seen.
But, prithee, how many eternal pleasures are for sale?
You can but deem them transient as a cloud of smoke: their thralldom is error.
Though you mine the mountains, I fear ‘twere hard to fill up the unfathomed river-depths.
If your talk is of true virtue and true passion, who then has braved death for you?
I fear when the money is spent from beneath your pillow, you must part from the present, however fair.
In fine, flowers and willows hurt more men than one.
Ah! Bethink you!
Quench the fire of heart and head!
Everywhere I warn the children of men lest they knit awry the webbed creepers upon the water.