And it will be forever known,
the lamenting ache-filled tone
echoed in every note plucked along the heart and spine,
plaguing like an infection of the mind,
of the songs that must recall
the much regretted Third Age fall.
For, by what means could one foresee
such a shattering tragedy,
with Earth and Heaven separated as a cosmic punishment
and the guilty Wan Xian traipsing about the Middle Kingdom
like soul shattered puppets flailing at acts of life.
You can see it in their eyes,
the battle that wars inside,
of the righteous and the vile, vying to ride the human shell.
But not Xue, who pursued through meditation
a mode of control over the internal forces that pulled him in conflicting directions.
beneath the Falls of Tóng he pondered,
for at least a thousand nights,
until his flesh was green and bloated, at that moment disappointed,
for no new wisdom stirs within.
Hunger wakes him from his focus, driving him into the blinding snow,
where prowls the furthest reaches, yet finding nothing to consume.
He finally arrives at frozen water, where he spies the graceful crane
snatch a frog up from the depths, which becomes a butterfly.
In this moment Xue understands it, the purpose of this cursed life –
to dredge the ugly frogs up from the wicked world
and make them beautiful again.
And thus, the Way of the Resplendent Crane is writ,
recognizing impurity and striving to overcome it.
Author – Unknown –