Return To Nature (I)
by Tao Yuanming
While young, I was not used to worldly cares,
And hills became my natural compeers,
But by mistakes I fell in mundane snares
And thus entangled was for thirty years.
A caged bird would long for wonted wood,
And fish in tanks for native pools would yearn.
Go back to till my southern fields I would.
To live a rustic life why not return?
My plot of ground is but ten acres square;
My thatched cottage has eight or nine rooms.
In front I have peach trees here and plums there;
O’er back eaves willow trees and elms cast glooms.
A village can be seen in distant dark,
Where plumes of smoke rise and waft in the breeze.
In alley deep a dog is heard to bark,
And cocks crow as if o’er mulberry trees.
Into my courtyard no one should intrude,
Nor rob my private rooms of peace and leisure.
After long years of abject servitude,
Again in nature I find homely pleasure.