Thursday, 22 September 2011

Moving House

My old desire to live in the Southern Village
Was not because I had taken a fancy to the house.
But I heard it was a place of simple-minded men
With whom it were a joy to spend the mornings and evenings
Many years I had longed to settle here:
Now at last I have managed to move house.
I do not mind if my cottage is rather small
So long as there's room enough for bed and mat.
Often and often the neighbours come to see me
And with brave words discuss things of old.
Rare writings we read together and praise:
Doubtful meanings we examine together and settle.

T'ao Ch'ien (365-427)
Translated from the Chinese by Arthur Waley

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