To the Taoist on Quan-jiao Mountain 1

Wei, Ying-wu (737 A.D.-792 A.D.?)

Today the lobby of my office 2 is cold.
Suddenly I miss the guest on the mountain.
He will bind brambles and firewood
And will cook white stones 3 when returning home.
I want to go to the distant mountain
To bring him a gourd ladle of wine
And console him this windy and rainy evening.
he fallen leaves spread all over the empty mountain.
Where can I find his footprints?

1 Chuan-jiao Mountain was a divine mountain located five miles west of present day Chuan-jiao County in Anhui Province.

2 Wei was the Mayor of Chu City when he wrote this poem.

3 "The Biography of Jing Bao" in The History of Jin Dynasty says, "Jing Bao encountered a strong wind at sea. When he was hungry, he cooked white stones and ate them." The Biography of Gods, written by Hong Ge, says, "Mr. White Stone ate white stones as his staple food and lived on White Stone Mountain. Therefore, his contemporaries called him Mr. White Stone." The phrase "cook white stones" refers to a Taoistís disinterest in fame and wealth, and his poor but honest life.