In a Shantung Garden
—By Louise Jordan Miln
In China—and nowhere else ....three things grow— that are extremely rare there, and very precious; the crystal tree that grows nowhere but in the soil that canopies the long sleep of the Great Sage, the gold-tree with its foliage of living metal, and the shen-yin tree. If the crystal tree is the holiest and the gold-tree the rarest, the shen-yin tree is incomparably the most beautiful. And it sings. Tall and slender with a burnished trunk that gleams like polished gold by day, and shines white-silver in the moonlight, its delicate leaves are never still; they whisper when the air is stillest, when wind touches them they answer it in music—music clearer, sweeter, more distinctly noted that the music of the "singing sands." Its notes are something harp-like, a little flute-like, like the sound of bells in Time, fairy bells strangely beautiful, infinitely sweet. In Ho-nan they call it "the Treasure Tree," in Pechilli "the Elve's Song," in SzCh-wan "the Harp Tree," in Shantung "Bells-of-Love-Tree."
"Abolishing sake is a simple matter,"
Emperor and Son of the Morning Star,
"But the desire of my soul
Is to know how to prevent fermentation
Of passions in the human heart!"
From the Japanese of Ika Eod.
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