The present poem was composed at leisure by the Qianlong Emperor, and published in Qing Guozong (Qianlong) Yuzhi Shiwen Quanji, Zhongguo renming daxue chubanshe, vol. 1, p. 796-797.
The text may be translated as:
With a peaceful mind one would find tranquillity in a noisy place;
with a disturbed mind one would feel unsettled in a quiet place.
A cultivated heart knows the essence of the Way;
nature is where truth lies.
Practise calligraphy untiringly;
indulge in books not only for the sake of industry.
The Nation is enjoying great prosperity;
it flourishes with a myriad of things in Nature.
Of all the Qing emperors, Qianlong was the most renowned for his prolific composition and calligraphy. As such, many of Qianlong's poems and writings either in his own style or imitating those of the old masters were reproduced in textiles using the kesi medium. Several examples of calligraphy woven in kesi are illustrated in Masterpieces of Chinese Silk Tapestry and Embroidery in the National Palace Museum, including a seven-character couplet in seal script after calligraphy, pl. 30; and four finely-woven paintings bearing poems, pls. 25, 27, 28 and 29. A similar hanging scroll was sold at Sotheby's Hong Kong, 3 May 1994, lot 356. Compare also a kesi album of Qianlong's poems dedicated to the West Lake, from the Amy S. Clague collection, sold in these Rooms, 30 May 2005, lot 1229.
Compare also a number of earlier calligraphic panels in various scripts after the style of famous artists such as Mi Fei, dated to the Song dynasty; Zhao Mengfu, Yuan dynasty; and Zhu Yunming, Ming dynasty, op. cit., nos. 10, 11 and 17 respectively.