Tao Yuanming: Going Back to My Old House

Going Back to My Old House

还 旧 居
畴 昔 家 上 京
六 载 去 还 归。
今 日 始 复 来
恻 怆 多 所 悲。
阡 陌 不 移 旧
邑 屋 或 时 非。
履 历 周 故 居
邻 老 罕 复 遗。
步 步 寻 往 迹
有 处 特 依 依。
流 幻 百 年 中
寒 暑 日 相 推。
常 恐 大 化 尽
气 力 不 及 衰。
拨 置 且 莫 念
一 觞 聊 可 挥。
Huan Jiu Ju

Chou xi jia shang jing
Liu zai qi huan gui.
Jin ri shi fu lai
Ce chuang duo suo bei.

Qian mo bu yi jiu
Yi wu huo shi fei.
Lu li zhou gu ju
Lin lao han fu yi.

Bu bu xun wang ji
You chu te yi yi.
Liu huan bai nian zhong
Han shu ri xiang tui.

Chang kong da hua jin
Qi li bu ji shuai.
Bo zhi qie mo nian
Yi shang liao ke hui.


Going Back to My Old House

[After living the last six years in southern seclusion and extreme poverty, Tao Yuanming ageing and weak, returned to his ancestral home in Caigong]

In the old days my house in Shanjing
After six years I return home.
Today I begin again to return
Very sad and lean times.

Old footpaths between the fields have not changed
But the city houses are different from before.
Walk throughout the old neighborhoods
Very few of the neighbors remain.

Step by step looking for previous landmarks
Many of the special places as close to me as the clothes I am wearing.
Human lives wander like an illusion for a hundred years
Day after day, year after year.

Often fear of the Big Change and the end
My energy declining with age.
Put aside for a while these things
For now, one cup of wine after another.



Caigong: Located in Jiangsu Province.

The Big Change: Death

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