Poems of Bai Juyi
For Master Tao Guang
One mountain pass becomes two.
Two temples were formerly one.
East stream flows into west stream.
South mountain's clouds merge with north's.
Forecourt blossoms can be seen from the rear.
Heaven's bell rings out and those below hear.
I recall how my master would walk upon the Way.
Celestial fragrance of sages falls all around.
This is a late poem of Bai Juyi. But I don't know how late. The allusions are all Buddhist ones. Bai sent his collected works into three Buddhist temples for safekeeping and would not be above flattering a temple to ensure literary immortality. Maybe that is what this is. He did study Buddhism with monks at least three times in his life. But I don't think Tao Guang was one of his teachers. If you think about Buddhism and its history in China, the poem resonates more and more as you re-read it. Maybe that is what this poem is for.