Returning to Live in the South
Tao Qian

Little not fit common charm
Nature basic love mound hill
Mistake fall world net in
Thus went ten three years
Cage bird long for old forest
Pond fish long for old deep pool
Start barren south fields border
Observe awkward return field orchard
Plot residence 10 more acre
Grass house 8 9 rooms
Elm willow shade behind eaves
Peach plum collect hall before
Dim far person village
Reluctant to part ruins village smoke
Dog bark deep alley in
Chicken mulberry tree peak
Door yard no earth mix
Modest room have more vacant
Long at confinement in
Again get return self right
When young, I'd not enjoyed the common pleasures,
My nature's basic love was for the hills.
Mistakenly I fell into the worldly net,
And thus remained for thirteen years.
A bird once caged must yearn for its old forest,
A fish in a pond will long to return to the lake.
So now I want to head to southern lands,
Returning to my fields and orchards there.
About ten acres of land is all I have,
Just eight or nine rooms there in my thatched hut.
There's shade from elms and willows behind the eaves,
Before the hall are gathered peaches and plums.
Beyond the dark and distance lies a village,
The smoke above reluctant to depart.
A dog is barking somewhere down the lane,
And chickens sit atop the mulberry tree.
The mundane world has no place in my home,
My modest rooms are for the most part vacant.
At last I feel released from my confinement,
I set myself to rights again.

View Chinese text in simplified characters.

Other Chinese poems about Nature.