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We often pass a night warm and intimate

In an unfamiliar room whose shape

In the daytime we have no way to know,

Let alone its past, its future.  The plain

Endlessly stretches before our window.

We vaguely remember the road we came by

In the dusk: such is our knowledge.

Tomorrow, we will leave and return no more.

Close our eyes then!  Let these warm, intimate nights

And unfamiliar places weave in our heart:

Our life is like the plain outside the window.

Upon the misty plain we recognize

A tree, a flash of lake-light; within the boundlessness

Is hidden the forgotten past, the seen-unseen future.

Feng Chih (1905)



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