returning to gardens and fields to dwell

From my youth I’ve lacked the worldly tune,
by nature I have loved hills and mountains.
Accidentally I fell into the dusty net of the world,
and thirteen years passed at once.
The bird in a trammel longs for its former forest;
a fish in a pond misses its native deep.
I opened up wasteland at the southern wilds,
adhering to the simple, I returned to the fields.
On a square plot less than two acres,
my thatched hut is eight or nine measures.
Elms and willows shade the back yard;
peach and plum cover the front of the hall.
Dim in the distance, is a remote village,
lingering vaguely, the country smoke.
A dog barks deep in the alley,
a cock crows atop a mulberry tree.
My home and yard have no dusty goods—
the empty room has sufficient leisureliness.
For too long I have been confined in a cage,
now I’ve come back to naturalness.

Tao Yuanming

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