Poems of Meng Jiao
With Elder Xue, escorting County Graduate Dugu to the capital for a feast in honor of young writers
Chang'an clouds rise sweet and fair.
Chu's cassias lift up their fragrant skirts.
This beauty, how can it be in vain?
Ten thousand boughs, each numinous.
Like immortal's songs, precious to Heaven,
The woods sough brightly in the snow.
Grasp this moment. Its all a gift, as we
Escort you to soar into your unseen future.
We just had a poem with 独孤 in it. There I thought it was "solitary and lonely." Here it is a proper two-character family name. I could go back and see if the last 独孤 could be reinterpreted this way. But there's no end to that. Learning Chinese is a constant state of wondering if what you thought you knew was wrong. (I suspect that mostly it was.)
In this poem, Dugu (独孤) has passed his local county-level imperial exams. He has done so well that he is being escorted to the capital, Chang'an, by Meng Jiao and Elder Xue. Technically, he is being delivered as tribute to the emperor. He must have done very well, as he is apparently invited to a special feast for those young candidates whose writing is exceptional.
But Meng Jiao's poem here is more about the beauty of wildness and the present moment. Perhaps this is in response to the forward-looking thoughts of youth which are often narrow and circumscribed by fear.