Poems of Meng Jiao
Spring in Jiyuan
Taihang range lays across the horizon,
A hundred miles of fragrant loftiness.
Across the river, the flowers change and
Here at Fangkou the clouds diminish.
Like a fresh painting, colors still wet.
Heavens, a play of light and shadow.
Deep reds, threads living of green,
Shallow blues the jewel of river's source.
Outside a thousand gates, men offer
Up together a cup of purity.
Green beauty overwhelms mere gold.
Immortal stars shine like colored glass.
Ordinary children all are speaking
Of a common good without a fear.
Mad winds blow the somnambulent feasters, who
In the peaceful dawn, return to their dreams.
Lazy, boring men will make their living
Amassing knowledge and expertise.
Then wandering, how could they be so crazy-stupid
As to wash away the startling real world?
I think that in this poem, Meng Jiao is pushing forward with his Five Gurgling agenda. We have the beauty of the old south in the first three verses and then a critical observation of the present day in the final two verses. The strong words in the final two verses are all literal translations. I could only make sense of the final line with its "dust" (尘埃) by using dust for "world" as the Tang poets often used it metaphorically.