I planted a hundred mulberry trees
And thirty acres of rice.
Now I have plenty of silk and grain,
And can afford to entertain my friends.
In the spring I plant rice.
In the Autumn I gather chrysanthemums
And perfume the wine with their petals.
My wife enjoys being hospitable.
My children like to serve.
Late afternoon, we give a picnic
At the back of the overgrown garden
In the shade of the elms and willows.
My friends drink until they are inspired.
The fresh breezes cool the heat of the day.
After everyone has gone home,
I want to walk out under the Milky Way,
And look up at the countless stars
That watch me from heaven.
I still have plenty of jugs in the cellar.
Nobody will prevent me
From opening some more tomorrow.
-Ch’u Ch’uang I
This poem is an expression of exactly what I want out of life.
Translated by Kenneth Rexroth