In a dream I saw four mountains
with a valley in between.
In the valley lay a lake
of crystal water, deep and clean.
Somewhere hidden on this fell
there lived a hermit rarely seen
who mingling with the mist and cloud
left no trace where he had been.
Nonetheless , one felt the spell
cast on rocks and ancient trees 10
amidst the perfume of sweet flowers
carried on the gentle breeze.
We entered, I and my companions,
this entrancèd pleasuance
all dressed in coat of many colours
prepared to join a sacred dance.
We were a crowd of happy souls
confabulation echoed round
like so many gaudy birds
we fluttered through the plush surround. 20
The trail twisted round the rocks
we marvelled at the vegetation
smelling, tasting, intoxicating,
soon we’d quite lost all direction.
Then at once we found a clearing
verging to the water’s edge
where there sloped a sandy beach
between two stands of giant sedge.
In this secluded comfy spot
with sun and shade, nor dry nor damp, 30
close by some lush fruit bearing trees
we soon set to to make our camp.
With stakes and dark green mighty leaves
we made a shelter for the night
but when the dark came suddenly
we gazed at stars uncannily bright.
Then rose the moon over the peak
making its divine procession
and in the mirror of the lake
one thought to see straight into heaven. 40
Entranced, befuddled, lost to sense
we revelled in an ecstasy.
Some wandered far into the wood
some bathed, some sang, some hugged the trees.
In the morning consciousness
returned, at least in some degree.
I looked around for my companions
but alas we were but three.
The others gone, we settled down
to writing verses we could share 50
while, betimes, we worked the land
for healthy life in the perfumed air.
Thus, out of nature’s precious store
we built a garden of delight
rejoicing in the crops that grew
and blossoms such a balmy sight!
As we sang praises in the evening
spirits filled the twilight hour
thus our life was threefold blessèd
by mysterious sacred power. 60
I cannot say how long we lingered
in that life beside the lake
wherein heaven still provided
all that one could wish to take.
Never did we find the hermit
nor the cave in which he dwelt
but his misty kindly presence
allowed one’s wounded heart to melt.
I had no fear for my companions
roaming the enchanted wood; 70
surely they will find what’s needful,
each get exactly what he should.
From this dream I realised
the secret way of letting go
while accepting all that comes
to teach one all one needs to know.
Though I’ve woken from the dream
I would like to take you there
so that we can be a threesome
living lightly without cares. 80
In any case, the dream still lives
in the dawn and twilight times
when the heart is lifted upward
to partake of the sublime.
Let us go there hand in hand
beside the lake we’ll build that bower,
live at ease among the spirits
and drink in that sacred power.
It’s the only way to be:
will you come there, now, with me? 90