Back To Nature (1)

Never attuned to worldly affairs

My inborn nature longing for mountain air

Being caught up in an earthly web, however

30 years have vanished into thin air

A caged bird lingers about familiar woods

Small pond fish never swim far from the hook

Plowing a patch of wasteland on the southern nook

I finally retreat to nature for a garden-field outlook

A few thatched huts are put up on acres of flat

Elms and willows shading the back

Peaches and plums greeting at the front

A village afar coming into view

Wisps of chimney smoke rising above the field

Dog barks are heard from deep alleys, rooster crows in mulberry trees

My patio is clear of clutter

The mind free for fond dreams

Being in a cage for too long

Now I am back to nature loving it

~ Translated from Tao Yuanming’s “Back to Nature (Part One),” a series of ‘Field and Garden’ poems written in the Six Dynasties period

少无适俗韵,性本爱丘山。误入尘网中,一去三十年。
羁鸟恋旧林,池鱼思故渊。开荒南野际,守拙归园田。
方宅十余亩,草屋八九间。榆柳荫后檐,桃李罗堂前。
暧暧远人村,依依墟里烟。狗吠深巷中,鸡鸣桑树颠。
户庭无尘杂,虚室有余闲。久在樊笼里,复得返自然。

~ 陶淵明 (東晉末至南北朝) 《歸園田居 其一》