The Yüan and Hsiang form into a mighty lake.
Above the lake are deep mountain valleys,
And men dwelling whose hearts are without guile.
Gay like children, they swarm to the tops of the trees;
And run to the water to catch bream and trout.
Their pleasures are the same as those of beasts and birds;
They put no restraint either on body or mind.
Far I have wandered throughout the Nine Lands;
Wherever I went such manners had disappeared.
I find myself standing and wondering, perplexed,
Whether Saints and Sages have really done us good.” 
I assume that the lake in question is Lake Dongting in the north-east of Hunan Province into which the Yüan and Hsiang (Xiang) flow. I further assume that “league” in this translation does not signify a traditional English league, since three thousand leagues north-west of Hunan Province would be somewhere in the Arctic Sea. Regarding the more important matter of the sentiment let loose in this poem, I know it is one that has often been found lurking not three thousand leagues away from the minds of the civilised.
 Yüan Chieh, “Civilisation”, in A Hundred and Seventy Chinese Poems, tr. A. Waley (New York: Alfred. A. Knopf, 1919), p.149.