From early days I have been at odds with the world;
my instinctive love is hills and mountains.
By mischance I fell into the dusty net
And was thirteen years away from home.
The migrant bird longs for its native grove.
The fish in the pond recalls its former depths.
Simplicity intact, I have returned to the farm.
The land I own amounts to a couple of acres
The thatched-roof house has four or five rooms.
Elms and willows shade the eaves in back,
Peach and plum stretch out before the hall.
Distant villages are lost in haze,
Above the house smoke hangs in the air.
A dog is barking somewhere in a hidden lane,
A cock crows from the top of a mulberry tree.
My home remains unsoiled by worldly dust
Within bare rooms I have peace of mind.
For long I was a prisoner in a cage
And now I have my freedom back again.
~ T'ao Ch'ien (365-427)