Literally: follow – sky – leave – private / I
Alternately: Giving up one’s egotism and selfish desires, and living in accordance with the natural order.
Notes: This phrase is attributed to Natsume Soseki, who in his later years apparently came to see it as an ideal frame of mind to approach life and/or literature.
Replacing 則 with homophone 即 is an error. The phrase may also be given a kunyomi (Japanese-style reading) as 天に則り私を去る (ten ni nottori watakushi wo saru).