orchid and orange i
tender orchid-leaves in spring
and cinnamon- blossoms bright in autumn
are as self- contained as life is,
which conforms them to the seasons.
yet why will you think that a forest-hermit,
allured by sweet winds and contented with beauty,
would no more ask to-be transplanted
than would any other natural flower?
orchid and orange ii
here, south of the yangzi, grows a red orangetree.
all winter long its leaves are green,
not because of a warmer soil,
but because its' nature is used to the cold.
though it might serve your honourable guests,
you leave it here, far below mountain and river.
circumstance governs destiny.
cause and effect are an infinite cycle.
you plant your peach-trees and your plums,
you forget the shade from this other tree.