In the mountains the weeping rains come so often
Beating down with a ramshackle rattle.
In the mountains clouds seas come rolling
Over a range of peaks and you fear
Sometimes that heavy clouds would fall
Instead of the rain.
In the mountains you always hear the water rushing
With a soft hush down the sloping slabs of rock.
The white-gauze clouds drape the naked summits
Of crag-nippled mountains. And sometimes when the rain
Is come and gone clouds of milky mists
Smoke up from the valleys like ghosts like ghosts leaving
Their haunted dwellings.
In the mountains where I sojourned
The sowers had terraced the slopes
And there were tiers of paddy fields
Running down to the bed of streams.
Walking in the yellow-ripe dawn you would see
The young paddy talks stoops caressingly
On the mountain back that bent like a colossal green-fleecy sheep.
The listless mountain idle by the restless waters
Casting a mantle-shadow down her forested back.
And beneath the lurking gloom of the shaggy foliage—her mask—
Seem to hide her grieving face that had witnessed
The fury of agonies borne by weightless men
Who lingered hesitantly on her loving back.
This poem was first published in the London Magazine , Vol. 4, No. 8, 1957, edited by John Lehmann of the Bloomsbury Group.