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馬戴《過野叟居》“Passing by an Old Rustic’s Place” by Ma Dai (d. 869)









A rustic man at leisure plants trees,

Which grow old before the rustic man.

Residing and reposing among white clouds,

Fishing and cutting wood by vast seas.

[He] calls on his boy to pick the medicine of the mountain, [2]

And leaves his calf to drink at the source of the brook.

With a theory of his own on cultivating life,

[He] has no worries to trouble his twilight years.

*From Peng Dingqiu 彭定求 (1645-1719) ed., Quan Tang shi 全唐詩 (Beijing: Zhonghua shuju, 1960), 555.6427 :


[1] Red characters rhyme.

[2] “Medicine of the mountain” is a literal reading of shanyao 山藥, which may refer to yam. This translation stays close to the original wording so that the parallel structure of this line and the next is clearer.


"Jiangshan yu le" 江山漁樂 (Joy of Fishing Among Mountains and Rivers), album leaf by Zhao Mengfu 趙孟頫 (1254-1322)

Image credit: National Palace Museum, Taipei


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