by: Li Bai (701-762)
translated by Shigeyoshi Obata
In the deep sequestered stream the lotus grows,
Blooming fresh and fair in the morning sun.
Its glowing petals hide the clear autumn water,
And its thick leaves spread like blue smoke.
Alas! in vain its beauty excels the world.
Who knows? Who will speak of its rare perfume?
Lo, the frost will come, chilling the air,
And its crimson must wither, its fragrance fade.
Ill it has chosen the place to plant its root.
Would it could move to the margin of a flower pond!