Poems of Meng Jiao
For the Daoist monk on the city wall
Gazing for miles, you miss the hills.
In your ears are the springs left behind.
Resting on your pine staff, watching cloud patterns,
Your medicine bag now holds only money.
Once you had only green laurels for neighbors
And studied the drifting snow.
Since we parted, I can't think of you as other than
A lost immortal in this world.
While Meng Jiao is a self-proclaimed Buddhist and, for his own part, takes only the Buddhist view, there is nothing but compassion here for a Daoist monk he seems to have met upon the outer wall of the city. Cities in China played the part of castles in the west. Cities had massive walls around them for defense. Meng Jiao here reminds me of Bai Juyi again with his always talking to people in order to understand them. This is clearly a later poem with only a gentle intrusion of the poet at the end. It kind of makes you want to cry.