A Letter to Song Yuansi
The mist dissipated. The sky and the mountains were tinged with the same hue. My boat drifted with the currents, its prow shifting now to the left, now to the right. The river, extending some one hundred li from Fuyang to Tonglu, was distinguished by marvelous scenery, unparalleled in the world.
The water, light green in color, was so transparent as to show the infinitely deep bottom. Swimming fish and pebbles could be seen without hindrance. Rapids shot more swiftly than arrows and waves rushed move vehemently than steeds.
High mountains rose on both banks and were grown with trees chilly to the eye. Making the most of the different situations, they seemed to be contending for the highest position, striving to be the first in their climb. Thus we saw a great assemblage of peaks all pointing straight to the sky. The spring water's dashing upon stones produced a jingling sound and the birds' warbling in chorus made up a pleasant melody. And cicadas' shrilling untiringly and monkeys' gibbering without cease enhanced the sense of tranquility. Those who aspired to honour and fame and wished to fly as high as eagles would have their minds settled in peace when looking at these elevated peaks. Thos who were engaged in mundane affairs would loiter there with no thought of return when gazing at these valleys.
With the horizontally slanting branches obscuring the sky, it looked as dark in the day as at twilight. But, where sparse twigs interwove, through the interstices penetrated the sunlight.