Returning Alone to My Childhood Home
No need to ask about my old hometown,
Arms of war torment it without rest.1
Our family is poor, but no use in planning,
Taxes multiply then add to our grief.
The distant trees and blue mountains are ancient,
Barren fields and white waters autumnal.
In sorrow had I left behind the haven of my parents' care,
I peer out to see them but first my tears flow.
1. The poet is referring here to the peasant uprisings that were common in the early part of the seventeenth century and that led to the fall of the Ming dynasty. In 1635, a group of rebels led by Gao Yingxiang, Li Zicheng, Zhang Xianzhong, and others, entered Anhui province, first desecrating the ancestral tombs of the Ming emperor in Fengyang and then moving on to the towns of Luzhou (modern-day Hefei) and Anqing. Fang's hometown, Tongcheng, was located between these two towns.
（Paula Varsano 譯）