Poems of Meng Jiao
Ancient Ways, for Liang Su, to make amends
Twisted trees shun the sunlight.
Flatterers dread the wise.
Naturally, the candle illumines the room
And rejects evil's flattery.
There are no fiery furnaces which are
Known to refine an ounce of precious spirit.
Gold and lead must go into life's fires together
If you want to separate essence from dross.
As per usual, I can't identify the person in the title. And there's no way to know what Meng Jiao is apologizing for. The important thing is that Meng Jiao is revealed as someone whose sense of justice is greater than their pride. Which puts him in a small majority of human beings, doesn't it? Almost everything we know about Meng Jiao reveals him to be a fine person. This can be said of all the poets I have translated so far. Perhaps this is why one's work endures down the centuries.