The Small Tarn West of the Knoll
A hundred and twenty paces west of the knoll, across the bamboos and bushes I heard withdelight a gurgling like the sound made by jade bracelets. So I cut a path through the bamboostill I came upon a small pool of clear water. The bottom was of rock and a spring gushed outfrom the boulders near the bank. Rocks formed little islets and crags, overhung by green treesand vines which were growing in great profusion. There were about a hundred fish in the tarn,and they seemed to be gliding through empty space without support. In the sunlight whichreached the bottom, casting shadows over the rocks, the fish would stay for a whilemotionless then suddenly dart far away. They scudded to and fro, as if sharing the visitors'delight.
Looking southwest in the chequered sunlight at the jagged, serpentine shore, you could notsee the whole.
I sat by this tarn, with bamboos and trees all round me, in utter silence and solitude. Theseclusion and quiet cast a chill over me; and the scene was one of such purity that I couldnot stay there long. So I marked the spot and left.
With me were Wu Wuling, Gong Gu, and my brother Zongxuan. And two of the Cui boys, Shuyiand Fengyi, had accompanied us to help us.