Morning Song From Senlin
It is morning, Senlin says, and in the morning When the light drips through the shutters like the dew, I arise, I face the sunrise, And do the things my fathers learned to do. Stars in the purple dusk above the rooftops pale in a saffron mist and seem to die, And I myself on swiftly tilting planet Stand before a glass and tie my tie.
Vine-leaves tap my window, Dew-drops sing to the garden stones, The robin chirps in the chinaberry tree Repeating three clear tones. It is morning. I stand by the mirror And tie my tie once more. While waves far off in a pale rose twilight
Crash on a white sand shore. I stand by a mirror and comb my hair: How small and white my face!-- The green earth tilts through a sphere of air And bathes in a flame of space.
There are houses hanging above the stars And stars hung under a sea... And a sun far off in a shell of silence Dapples my walls for me.
It is morning, Senlin says, and in the morning should I not pause in the light to remember God? Upright and firm I stand on a star unstable, He is immense and lonely as a cloud. I will dedicate this moment before my mirror To him alone, for him I will comb my hair.
Accept these humble offerings, clouds of silence! I will think of you as I descend the stair. Vine-leaves tap my window, The snail-track shines on the stones; Dew-drops flash from the chinaberry tree repeating two clear tones.
It is morning, I awake from a bed of silence, Shining I rise from the starless waters of sleep. The walls are about me still as in the evening, I am the same, and the same name still I keep. The earth revolves with me, yet makes no motion, The stars pale silently in a coral sky. In a whistling void I stand before my mirror, Unconcerned, and tie my tie.
There are horses neighing on far-off hills tossing their long white manes, And mountains flash in the rose-white dusk, Their shoulders black with rains.
It is morning, I stand by the mirror And surprise my soul once more; The blue air rushes above my ceiling, There are suns beneath my floor.
It is morning, Senlin says, I ascend from darkness And depart on the winds of space for I know not where; My watch is wound, a key is in my pocket, And the sky is darkened as I descend the stair. There are shadows across the windows, clouds in heaven, And a god among the stars; and I will go Thinking of him as I might think of daybreak And humming a tune I know.
Vine-leaves tap at the window, Dew-drops sing to the garden stones, The robin chirps in the chinaberry tree Repeating three dear tones.