Poems of Meng Jiao
(Greeting my mother as I drift about.)
My loving mother, with needle and thread,
You sewed the clothes on this wanderer's back.
Just before I left, you made this meticulous seam,
Your thought already troubled by my far-off return.
Who says I have a callow heart?
I proclaim the fullness of your maternal love.
This is that famous "love my mom" poem which was caught up in that Ming dynasty net called, "Three Hundred Poems of the Tang." Going by the Tang scrolls, it's the first filial-piety poem of Meng Jiao's that you come to. Nothing here to offend anyone's Neo-Confucian sensibilities. And, truly, this is simply a poem of straight-up love for his mom. It's the Tang dynasty's "My Old Kentucky Home."
The last two lines are interesting. Take 寸草心. The first two (寸草) are "inch of grass" which gets used the way "blade of grass" does in English. The first character 寸 is "inch" and can be used for "short (as an inch)" and the second is 草 which is "grass" but also "rough" as in rough draft. So we get "short rough" or "callow." In the last line, 报得 is "can announce." And 三春晖 is two things at once: 三春 is "all of, or the fullness of, spring" and 春晖 is an idiom for "maternal love" while being "spring splendor" on the surface.