I Built My House Near Where Others Dwell
I built my house near where others dwell,
And yet there is no clamor of carriages and horses.
You ask of me "how can this be so?"
"When the heart is far the place of itself is distant."
I pluck chrysanthemums under the eastern hedge,
And gaze afar towards the southern mountains.
The mountain air is fine at evening of the day
And flying birds return together homewards.
Within these things there is a hint of Truth,
But when I start to tell it, I cannot find the words.
-- By T'ao Ch'ien,
translated by William Acker