In the Forest of Faded Wisdom

104 Poems by Gendun Chopel

Gendun Chopel, Edited and Translated by Donald S. Lopez Jr.

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Walking with weary feet to the plains of the sandy south,
Traversing the boundary of a land surrounded by the pit
of dark seas,
Pulling the thread of my life—precious and cherished—
across a sword’s
   sharp blade,
Consuming long years and months of hardship, I have
somehow finished
   this book.

Although there is no one to beseech me
With mandates from on high or mandalas of gold,
I have taken on the burden of hardship alone and written
this,
Concerned that the treasury of knowledge will be lost.

Though terrified by the orange eye of envy
In the burning flame of those bloodthirsty for power,
Accustomed to the habit of gathering what I have learned,
My mind is attached to reasonable talk.

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