Poems of Meng Jiao
Answering Han Yu and Li Guan who are taking their ideas to Xuzhou
Fortune leaves and worries are skin deep.
Poverty leaves, worries cut to the bone.
Lazily polishing an old bronze mirror,
I'm afraid I'll see new white hairs.
In an old tree with no spring blossoms,
A cuckoo cries tears of blood.
I can't bear to hear your parting tune --
I hear only a few hopeless notes.
Life is not without its dangers and
Wordly cares bind with a thousand knots.
Some travelers walk into the wilds or
Drive their carts down lonely, enchanted tracks.
My old friends, Han and Li, wield their
Bright brushes like a pair of moonbeams.
Pity me, if frustrated for your return,
I send you poems like an ancient diplomat.
Xu Kingdom was once the hub of the east,
First known for the prowess of its warriors.
When Master Mi drowned in the river
The bright king chanted poems in his honor.
Their high feeliings leave no remnant gleam,
Like moonlight embraced by morning's beam,
Or dust that cannot bury the injustice,
Enemies that we all should avenge.
May the towering trees and blossoms
Forever array themselves about you.
May the ancient music of qin and se
Forever ring in your ears.
If you want to know this man's heart,
Forever listen to the voice of his lonely sword.
I can't find a Li Guan. This could be another name for Li Ao who was one of Han Yu's intellectual circle.
Those who doubt the first two lines have never known true poverty, the kind with no hope and no food.
Remember -- the cuckoo is a symbol of yearning for someone's return.
We return to the Warring States in this poem. 纵横 is the short form for the School of Diplomacy. This is a grand name for two schools of thought: one allying against the Qin, one allying with. "Schools" is a fancy name for groups of opportunists who tried to sell their plots and conspiracies. Ah, the Warring States -- happy memories of mass murder and betrayals.
Master Mi ( or Mi Sheng? 祢生 ) is possibly Qu Yuan the poet who drowned himself in protest of injustice and wrote Songs of Chu (at least some of them). But I can't link the two names. So it could be somebody else. No clues as to the "bright king" either.