All over this winding stretch of water, what meets the eye is a silken field of leaves, reaching rather high above the surface, like the skirts of dancing girls in all their grace. Here and there, layers of leaves are dotted with white lotus blossoms, some in demure bloom, others in shy bud, like scattering pearls, or twinkling stars, or beauties just out of the bath. A breeze stirs, sending over breaths of fragrance, like faint singing drifting from a distant building. At this moment, a tiny thrill shoots through the leaves and lilies, like, a streak of lightning, straight across the forest of lotuses. The leaves, which have been standing shoulderto shoulder, are caught shimmering in an emerald heave of the pond. Underneath, the exquisite water is covered from view, and none can tell its colour; yet the leaves on top project themselves all the more attractively.
The moon sheds her liquid light silently over the leaves and flowers, which, in the floating transparency of a bluish haze from the pond, look as if they had just been bathed in milk, or like a dream wrapped in a gauzy hood. Although it is a full moon, shining through a film of clouds, the light is not at its brightest; it is, however, just right for me -a profound sleep is indispensable, vet a snatched doze also has a savour of its own. The moonlight is streaming down through the foliage, casting bushy shadows on the ground from high above, jagged and checkered, as grotesque as a party of spectres; whereas the benign figures of the drooping willows, here and there, lank like paintings on the lotus leaves. The moonlight is not spread evenly over the pond, but rather in a harmonious rhythm of light and shade, like a famous melody played on a violin.