A Translation of Colors

If expanding in all directions was only Wood,
Soon ash will cloak the Earth,
Defenseless to the scorching of Fire;
But above, within, and below, flows blue Water
Washing away the dust of Earth

Covering gems mixed in with Metal.

Foam froths the salt-filled Sea,
Its floors bedecked with rocks and Sand,
But not the radiance of Light;
Seas swell, surge, and roll with Time,
Beaten about by the gusts of the great green Wind

Withering the round cloud into Nimbus.

But the excess of steam and Shadow
Causes the earth to quiver, Quake
Till it be overrun and leveled by a red hot Blaze;
Silence conquers the Storm
With the soothing sound of the Mind

And the cool frozen chill of icy Frost. 

Balance allows the flower’s Bloom
Near the north sea of Dark Snake-Tortoise,
East woods of Azure Dragon;
At center, sits the Golden Emperor,
Who entrusts the south desert to Red Bird

And the west snows to kingly White Tiger.


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