— Tao Yuanming Chinese poet 365 - 427
Context: When I was young, I was out of tune with the herd,
[[File:Chen Hongshou Portrait von Tao-Qian. JPG|thumb|Long I lived checked by the bars of a cage;
Now I have turned again to Nature and Freedom. ]] My only love was for the hills and mountains.
Unwitting I fell into the Web of World's dust,
And was not free until my thirtieth year.
The migrant bird longs for the old wood;
The fish in the tank thinks of its native pool.
I had rescued from wildness a patch of the Southern Moor
And, still rustic, I returned to field and garden.
My ground covers no more than ten acres;
My thatched cottage has eight or nine rooms.
Elms and willows cluster by the eaves;
Peach trees and plum trees grow before the Hall.
Hazy, hazy the distant hamlets of men;
Steady the smoke that hangs over cottage roofs.
A dog barks somewhere in the deep lanes,
A cock crows at the top of the mulberry tree.
At gate and courtyard—no murmur of the World's dust;
In the empty rooms—leisure and deep stillness.
Long I lived checked by the bars of a cage;
Now I have turned again to Nature and Freedom.
"Returning to the Fields"
Arthur Waley, Translations from the Chinese (1941), p. 90
Young I was witless in the world's affairs,
My nature wildness and hills prefers;
By mishap fallen into mundane snares,
Once I had left I wasted thirty years.
Birds in the cage long for their wonted woods,
Fish in the pool for former rivers yearn.
I clear the wildness that stretches south,
Hiding my defects homeward I return.
Ten acres built with scattered house square,
Beside the thatched huts eight or nine in all;
The elms and willows shade the hindmost eaves,
While peach and pear-trees spread before the hall.
While smoke form nearby huts hangs in the breeze;
A dog is barking in the alley deep;
A cock crows from the chump of mulberry trees.
Within my courtyard all is clear of dust,
Where tranquil in my leisure I remain.
Long have I been imprisoned in the cage;
Now back to Nature I return again.
"Returning to my Farm Young" (translation by Andrew Boyd)