Not From Rain Recoiling

Not from rain recoiling
Not from wind
Neither recoiling from snow nor summer’s heat
One who is sound in body
Is free from greed
And never resorts to anger
Ever with a quiet smile
Subsisting on plain and simple fare
A little whole rice, miso, and a few vegetables
Taking little account of himself
Who has seen the world, understood it well
And bears in mind its nature constantly
Living alone in a small thatched hut
In the shade of a pine grove by a field
Learning of a sick child in the east
He sets off there to nurse the child
Learning of weary mother in the west
He sets off there to toil in the fields for her
Learning that someone is dying in the south
He sets off there to say “don’t be frightened”
Learning of a fight or dispute in the north
He sets off there to talk of peace and
the meaningless of animosity
Shedding tears in times of drought
At a loss when the harvest threatened by cold
Called a good-for-nothing by the people
Praised by no one
Yet a burden to none
Such a person, I wish to be

Miyazawa Kenji 1896-1933

translation from the Japanese by Edward & Junko Giorgilli