Poems of Meng Jiao
With Judge Huangfu, travelling on Langya Creek
In the hills, a jewelled realm
Beyond this world, Langya Creek.
In a corridor within a rocky canyon,
Our path follows the high walls.
Green rapids wash white rocks
As rainbows appear in blue mists.
This wanderer, for a brief interlude,
Travels to forget beloved sadness.
Tree-branch torches light the evening
As temple bells ring down from cloudy heights.
Though I still treasure our time together,
Hard to see how we could have held on longer.
Only in the dreams of a clear night
Do I really seem to get better.
In this poem of Meng Jiao, I think the willow-branchless woman appears again. She is the one woman who has lingered in his poems. He has never named her and has never gotten over her. This poem clearly comes much later than the previous poem. In the previous one Huangfu had just passed his exams. In this one, Huangfu is a city magistrate. So by now, Meng Jiao probably is remarried and in his fifties and is still in love with a woman who wasn't sorry to see him go. I trust he never showed this poem to his wife.