Wednesday, February 1, 2012

a hat salesman and a capable ruler

A man of Sung did business
In silk ceremonial hats.
He traveled with a load of hats
To the wild men of the South.
The wild men had shaved heads,
Tattooed bodies.
What did they want
With silk
Ceremonial hats?

Yao had wisely governed
All China.
He had brought the entire world
To a state of rest.
After that, he went to visit
The four Perfect Ones
In the distant mountains
Of Ku Shih
When he came back
Across the border
Into his own city
His lost gaze
Saw no throne.

~ Chuang Tzu
translated by Thomas Merton