Drinking Alone in the Rainy Season
Whatever lives must meet its end -
that is the way it has always been.
If Taoist immortals were once alive,
where are they today?
The old man who gave me wine
claimed it was the wine of the immortals.
One small cup and a thousand worries vanish;
two, and you'll even forget about heaven.
But is heaven really so far away?
It is best to trust in the Tao.
A crane in the clouds has magic wings
to cross the earth in a moment.
It's been forty years of struggle
since I first became reclusive.
Now that my body is nearly dead,
my heart is pure. What more is there to say?
-T'ao Ch'ien (365-427), The Poetry of Zen