Poems of Meng Jiao
Pity the Hardships
Hitting the bullseye is one with admonishment.
The wavering are not ready to be officials.
Anxiety and duplicity is one with palace service.
The drunkards cannot finish what they start.
Pity those who strive for excellence.
Ideas here are in precious cliques.
To keep place, they dare not be discerning.
Twisted hearts have problems with the truth.
I do not pity your twisting.
Twisted is not the gentleman's point of view.
You twist it and you twist it.
Who could ask for anything more twisted?
Pitiful! These empty, twisted words come
Rolling over us like great waves.
I'm guessing that Meng Jiao has become an official after passing his tests as he writes this poem. Or perhaps he is in that period between passing the regular exam and the job-getting exam. There was an exam that guaranteed employment in the empire for those without connections. It was hard to pass and the guaranteed jobs were crumby ones. Note how Meng Jiao is restrained in the beginning of the poem and gradually loses it towards the end. The effect of bureaucracy on the intelligent mind has always been the same.