FARM FAMILIES

Snug—the robe sewn from coarse cotton;
red—the fire kindled from dry sticks.
Meager talents I give to the countryside;
simple learning I teach the young boys:
for sheep you want a pen that's high,
for chickens, a closely woven basket.
Farm families have joys of their own,
not in a class with those of kings.

(first stanza)


Lu Yu (tr. Burton Watson)