THE PERILS OF THE SHU ROAD
BY LI T'AI-PO
The Shu Road is as perilous and difficult as the way to the Green Heavens. 11
No greater undertaking than this has been since Ts'an Ts'ung and Yü Fu ruled the land. 12
For forty-eight thousand years no man had passed the boundary of Ch'in.
Westward, over the Great White Mountain, was a bird-track
By which one could cross to the peak of Omei.
But the earth of the mountain fell and overwhelmed the Heroes so that they perished. 13
Afterwards, therefore, they made sky-ladders and joined the cliffs with hanging pathways.
Above, the soaring tips of the high mountains hold back the six dragons of the sun; 14
Below, in the ravines, the flowing waters break into whirlpools and swirl back against the current.
Yellow geese flying toward the peaks cannot pass over them;
The gibbons climb and climb, 15 despairingly pulling themselves up higher and higher, but even their endurance fails.