Begging For Food - Poem by Tao Yuanming

The pangs of hunger drove me from my home;
with no idea of where to go
I travelled on for miles
until I reached a village,
knocked on the nearest door,
blurted out some clumsy words.

The owner understood my need
his warmth dispelled my shame
that I'd come empty-handed.

We played and sang till sunset,
the wine-cups often tilted,
with the pleasure of new-found friends
we chanted and composed verses.

I remember the story of the washerwoman. *
Ashamed that I lack the skills of general Han,
how can I show my gratitude?
I can only repay him in the world to come.

Poems by Tao Yuanming

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