from Orchid and Orange (A Plea for Official Preferment): II by Chang Chiu-ling

Here, south of the Yang-tsze, grows a red orange-tree.
All winter long its leaves are green,
Not because of a warmer soil,
But because its nature is used to the cold.
Though it might serve your honourable guests,
You leave it here, far below mountain and river.
Circumstance governs destiny.
Cause and effect are an infinite cycle.
You plant your peach-trees and your plums,
You forget the shade from this other tree.

translated by Witter Bynner & Kiang Kang-hu

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