A Quiet House in Ch'ang-lo Ward

The emperor's city, a place of fame and profit:
from cockcrow on, no one relaxes.
I alone play the idler,
the sun high, hair as yet uncombed.
The clever and the clumsy differ in nature;
advancers and laggards go separate ways.
Luckily I've hit on a time of great peace
when the Son of Heaven loves scholars and learning.
With small talent, hard to perform great service:
I collate texts in the palace archives,
out of thirty days spend twenty at the office,
and so get to nurture my perversity and sloth.
A thatched roof, four or five rooms,
one horse, two hired men,
salary that runs to 16,000 cash β€”
it gets me through the month with some to spare.
I'm not pressed for clothing and food,
likewise little bothered with social affairs.
Thus I can follow youthful inclinations,
passing day after day in constant quietude.
But don't suppose I'm lacking in friends;
the bustler and the quiet one each has his own crowd.
There're seven or eight men of the Orchid Terrace
who do the same sort of work I do.
But on days off, I'm robbed of their talk and laughter;
morning and night I long to see a caller's carriage.
Who can find time from chores of collating,
loosen his belt, stretch out in my hut?
In front of the window there's bamboo for diversion,
outside the gate, a shop selling wine.
So what do I have to entertain you?
A few stalks in the background, one pot of brew.
Author of original: 
Po Chβ”œβ•-i
Rate this poem: 


No reviews yet.