Drink Tao Qian (365–427) tr By S L Kong
Amid man’s haunted environs I have my chalet
Where noises of hoofs and wheels are kept away
Asked how such a place could achieve serenity
A detached mind can create peace naturally
At dawn I pick daisies by the fence at will
And watch the beauty of the southern hill
Where the mountain air so fresh is here to stay
Birds leave and return to their nests day after day
Herein rests the true meaning of life
If need be told words have escaped from my mind
I made my home amidst this human bustle,
Yet I hear no clamour from the carts and horses.
My friend, you ask me how this can be so?
A distant heart will tend towards like places.
From the eastern hedge, I pluck chrysanthemum flowers,
And idly look towards the southern hills.
The mountain air is beautiful day and night,
The birds fly back to roost with one another.
I know that this must have some deeper meaning,
I try to explain, but cannot find the words.