Poems of Meng Jiao
My Autumn Walk, Visiting Again Our Country Hut, with Reverence
A life spent rounding a thousand hills,
Working away from home, a traveling man.
Haven't managed to get back to Eastern Wu.
So now I'm leaving Chang'an's dust.
Next, I'm declared a Jingzhou guest.
Now I'm staying in Jingling.
Old places, no longer the same.
My thoughts lean on them anyway.
Autumn peaks with slippery moss,
Up and down the rocky slopes.
Jianghan's sand and mud is pure,
Eternal sunlight making everything new.
Up all night, crying alone.
Chanting alone as I watch the sunrise.
What was the good of this running around
When permanent words rely on profound kindness?
I can feel it in my bones that Meng Jiao, in this poem, has taken a trip back to where he and his first wife traveled west, ending up where she died while he was away. They must have lived in what, during the second century AD, was Eastern Wu. He repeats their trip and winds up staying in their old hut, where he spends a very sad night. One can imagine it now as a decaying, weathered hut, in the hills overlooking some western town.