Chinese Poem to Celebrate a Senior Monk’s Sixtieth Birthday, late 17th-early 18th century
Duzhan Xingying 獨湛性瑩 (Jp. Dokutan Shōkei, 1628-1706)
Japan, Edo period (1615-1868)
Hanging scroll, ink on paper
128.5 × 40.7 cm; 222 x 55.2 cm (mounted)
The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Mary and Cheney Cowles Collection, Gift of Mary and Cheney Cowles, 2020, 2020.396.9
For your venerable sixtieth birthday I inscribe an account of a sage,
While also paying homage to our Dharma Hall.
The mid-autumn osmanthus moon illuminates Heaven’s virtue
As waves of clouds form a canopy protecting our sacred monastery.
The light of the lantern of the Patriarchs burns ever so brightly,
And the seal of the transmission of mind manifests itself completely.
The gate of the monastery, has been opened wide
So all can bask in the fragrance of the Dharma.
[The poem] on the right was respectfully brushed by the recluse Dokutan Shōkei
—trans. Xiaohan Du