The Invitation to the Mountain House of Taoist Mei

Meng, Hao Ran (689 A.D.-740 A.D.)

Living leisurely in the woods,
I worry that Spring will end.
I draw the curtain to view the beautiful scenery.
Suddenly, I see the Green Bird Messenger 1.
He invites me to the House of the Red Pine 2.
The stove for the elixir of life starts to flame 3.
The heavenly peach tree is blooming.
If Liu-xia Wine 4 can preserve youth,
I do not care if I become drunk.

1 The chapter titled "The West Barren Mountain" in The Bible of Mountains and Rivers says, "There is the Mountain of Godís Mother in the west. Ö There are three green birds with red heads and black eyes." Pu Guo's notes say, "These birds are all the messengers of God's Mother." The Story of Emperor Wu of the Han Dynasty says, "On July 7th, Emperor Wu was fasting in Cheng-hua Palace. Suddenly, a green bird landed in the front of the palace. The emperor told Shuo Dong-fang about this. Shuo said, 'This fortells that Godís Mother will visit us.' After a while She arrived. A dark green bird attended her on each side." Consequently, later generations use a green bird to symbolize a messenger who delivers letters.

2 The Red Pine is a god in Chinese mythology. The Biography of Gods says, "The Red Pine was an official in charge of conjuring rain during Emperor Shen-nong's (The Great Farmer) reign."

3 Here the stove for the elixir of life refers to the Taoist kitchen.

4 The chapter titled "Removing Doubts" in Baopuzi (the man who holds a rock containing a jade inside) , written by Hong Ge, says, "In Henan Province's Pu-man City, there was a man named Man Xiang. He went to a mountain with his son to search for the fountain of youth. Ten years later, they returned home. His wife asked Man where he had gone. Man said, 'A god offered me a cup of Liu-xia Wine. After I drank it, I did not thirst very often.'"