Poems of Meng Jiao
For the Yinshan men who say they return soon to their distant homes
My master said that Heaven and Earth
Are like the words of a divine tortoise:
Most things are beyond understanding.
All in all, I tend to agree.
Autumn moon pours out a white night as
A cool wind sings of its pure beginnings.
Suddenly, the familiar is already far away and
Our spirits feel so lonely we fall silent.
We wake up with our clothes all in knots,
Evening feelings overturned by morning troubles.
Then traveling carts rush off without a halt as
Horses left behind whinny after them.
My solicitations to you grassland knights.
I have already told you how I feel.
The Yinshan (probably Yin Hills) men are from the grasslands to the west. Meng Jiao spent part of his youth in such places and probably stayed up late with these men talking about common memories. The men leave in carts and not in boats. So unless that's poetic license, this poem is miscollated and probably belongs back when Meng Jiao was stationed north of the capital.
The poem has Buddhist overtones, especially 一悟 or "sudden realization." But I'm too ignorant to follow it anywhere meaningful. I can just smell it in the air. One should keep in mind that, for most of human history, "religious thinking" was an everyday state of mind expressed in everyday lives and not simply a Sunday or monastic dress.
Note that in the first verse, Meng Jiao is still willing to trample tradition by cutting across the couplet line to finish in line 3 what he begins in the first two lines. I don't think he consciously considers such things. He just doesn't let dogma get in the way of his work.