The Bamboo Garden

A poem by Edward Powys Mathers

Old bamboos are about my house,
And the floor of my house is untidy with old books.
It is sweet to rest in the shade of it
And read the poems of the masters.

But I remember a delightful fisherman
Who played on the five-stringed dan in the evening.
In the day he allowed his reed canoe to float
Over the lakes and rivers,
Watching his nets and singing.

A sweet boy promised to marry me,
But he went away and left
Like a reed canoe that rolls adrift
In the middle of a river.

Song of Annam.

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