Poems of Yu Xuanji
I Went to Visit Master Zhao But He Wasn't Home
Where will we find our immortal companion?
Only a simple servant is at home.
He has herbs left boiling on the warm stove
And tea is simmering out in the courtyard.
Painted walls, dim in the lamplight.
A banner hangs in the slanting morning's rays.
Eagerly, I look all around and then look again.
Beyond the wall, so many branches are in bloom.
Yu Xuanji, near life's end says, "I was not wrong to seek the best of company." I think that is what she is doing here. The term 炼师 means a Daoist master, a training master, training himself and others. Yu Xuanji knows what she is looking for in Daoism: the fragrant mind. But this time no teacher is there for her. This poem could have been written any time after she left her husband in 863.