My Cabin

Liu, Yu-xi (772-842 CE)

A mountain's height does not matter;
It is its guardian angel that makes it famous.
A river's depth does not matter;
It is its patron god that makes people worship it.
My cabin is plain and simple,
Only my virtue makes it lovely.
The grass climbs up my porch steps,
The green of Spring seeps into my room through a bamboo screen.
Here I often meet great scholars,
Their talk enriches my mind.
When I am alone,
I like to study Buddhist Bibles or play simple stringed instrument.
There is no noise of wild music
And I don’t have any red tape to worry about.
Like the house of Liang Zhu-ge or that of Xiong Yang,
My cabin is a study haven.
If Confucius saw my cabin,
He would ask me,
“How can you say that this house is plain?”