Poems of Meng Jiao
These days society has lost its strength.
The green pine has lost its color.
Common minds avoid the lonely and the straight.
Pine tree conforms to every change.
We're broken, living in these hollow days,
Still unsupported by Heaven's power.
In the end, it's because the men in power
Still think they understand.
The title, 衰松, can also be translated as "Weak and Slack." Pine trees are one symbol for gentlemen. I imagine Meng Jiao uses it here for the resonance of its ambiguity. The third line is even more ambiguous. Depending on how you take the bigram 人心 you can have "the people avoid the straight and narrow," "the people do not support the good but isolated leaders," or "the common-minded nobles avoid the lonely path of doing right." Obviously, all ambiguities fulfill the truth.