The Hall
Of Idleness

Po Yüchien

I'm too lazy to read the Taoist classics, for Tao doesn't reside in the books;
Too lazy to look over the sutras, for they go no deeper in Tao than its looks;
The essence of Tao consists in a void, clear, and cool,
But what is this void except being the whole day like a fool?
Too lazy am I to read poetry, for when I stop, the poetry will be gone;
Too lazy to play on the ch'in, for music dies on the string where it's born;
Too lazy to drink wine, for beyond the drunkard's dream there are rivers and lakes;
Too lazy to play chess, for besides the pawns there are other stakes;
Too lazy to look at the hills and streams, for there is a painting within my heart's portals;
Too lazy to face the wind and the moon, for within me is the Isle of the Immortals;
Too lazy to attend to worldly affairs, for inside me are my hut and my possessions;
Too lazy to watch the changing of the seasons, for within me are heavenly processions.
Pine trees may decay and rocks may rot; but I shall always remain what I am.
Is it not fitting that I call this the Hall of Idleness?

--- Translated by Lin Yutang

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