A Plough and a Spade

BY NGUYEN TRAI

A plough and a spade, that's all.

A row of chrysanthemums, and orchids,

A place to plant beans: That's all I need.

Friends come, birds sing, and flowers wave: Welcome!

The moon walks with me when I fetch water for tea.

Old Po Yi stayed pure and stayed happy,

Yen-tzu stayed poor and liked it.

Let the world buzz,

I need no praise, I am deaf to laughter.

 

 

Vietnam, 1380-1442