Three Encomia on the Ten Perfections of Tea

Hulu jushi fanyi






Wen Zhengming 1534

Wen Zhengming 1534

Wen Zhengming of the Ming dynasty
Three Encomia on the Ten Perfections of Tea


Tea Sprouts

The east wind blows across the russet tea,
In a single night it grows an inch.
A floral mist splits the heavy jade leaves,
Clouds gently congeal their tender fragrance.
The morning harvest fills less than a hand,
Returning in the evening, scolded for upsetting the tea basket.
The leaves, precious as yellow gold;
Transport the proffered tribute before the spring festival.



Spring flowers fall, hiding the courtyard,
A gentle wind calms the meditation room.
Tend the fire to boil fresh spring water.
The cold moon floats round and shadowy.
Sleepless, yet ever writing of the worthy,
Faithful to the eternal emotions.
Wandering immortals flit about the brazier,
Effortlessly entering the spirit realm.



Everywhere nourished by spring rains,
Dark mists conceal distant peaks.
Tea contests Heaven’s ambrosia,
Crimson fire and green pine in harmony.
Purple essence condenses,
Descending among us, fragrant and rich.
Feeling tranquil and refreshed,
Sunset shadows the mountains.










Wen Zhengming 文徵明 (1470-1559), “Chashi tu 茶事圖 (The Art of Tea, 1534),” Shiqu baoji xubian 石渠寶笈續編 (Sequel to the Treasure Coffers of the Stone Moat, 1793), Wang Jie 王杰 (1725–1805) et al., comps. (Taipei: Guoli Gugong bowu yuan, 1971), vol. 2, pp. 1051–1052.


Wen Zhengming 文徵明 1470–1559)
Chashi tu 茶事圖 (Art of Tea, 1534)
Hanging scroll; ink and color on paper
National Palace Museum, Taipei





30. July 2015 by Steven D. Owyoung
Categories: Literature, Literature, Translation | Comments Off on Three Encomia on the Ten Perfections of Tea