Poems of Meng Jiao
Written with my cousin, a thank-you for Minor Treasurer Lu Yin
Ranks of plum trees chant in Chu voices
As wind in the bamboo turns chill and pure.
In this deep emptiness, ice is forming and
High clean clouds move our feelings.
The times wash away all idle appearances.
So I send you a tattered poem that flees from fame.
These stone inscriptions are shaming me,
Here where two rare heroes fought.
Plum trees, bamboo, wind and clouds all have their symbolism. Meng Jiao is writing here of the chaotic times following the An Lushan rebellion and its effect on cultured men. One could suppose that he and his cousin, both friends of an imperial city's treasurer, visited some Chu tomb or monument where there were poems commemorating a battle inscribed on the flagstones (片石).
I can think of lots of Chu period battles but none where two heroes fought. Warring States battles are usually cases where one side out-thought the other and the loser had his head handed to him on a platter. From this period came not only Sunzi's Art of War but four or five other works of strategy, including the Thirty-Six Strategems. The latter was a list of ways, taken from successful battles, of how to out-think your opponent and hand him his head on a platter.