An Epigraph in Praise of My Humble Home
Translated by Luo Jingguo (罗经国)
A mountain needn't be high;
It is famous so long as there is a deity on it.
A lake needn't be deep;
It has supernature power so long as there is a dragon in it.
My home is humble,
But it enjoys the fame of virtue so long as I am living in it.
The moss creeping onto the doorsteps turns them green.
The color of the grass reflected through the bamboo curtains turns the room blue.
Erudite scholars come in good spirits to talk with me,
And among my guests there is no unlearned common man.
In this humble home, I can enjoy playing my plainly decorated qin,
or read the Buddhist Scriptures quietly,
Without the disturbance of the noisy tunes that jar on the ears,
or the solemn burden of reading official documents.
My humble home is like the thatched hut of Zhuge Liang of Nanyang,
or the Pavilion Ziyun of Xishu.
Confucious once said:"How could we call a room humble as long as here is a virtuous man in it?"
About the Author:
Liu Yuxi (772-842) was a native of Luoyang, Henan Province and became Jinshi after passing the highest imperial civil service examination at the age of twenty-one. He was much concerned with the politics of his time and was exiled for his reform activity. He was well celebrated for his prose and poetry.