Poems of Meng Jiao
Cranes at Daybreak
Cranes at dawn sing in an old tongue while
Old women, who net them, shout in the gates.
If the pipes of Heaven were ever to blow,
No one in this world would seek them out.
In this empty world, dreams are broken.
Moved by their sobs, peace should endure.
If the lonely moon should ever speak,
It could tell us what the heavenly bodies think.
I'm already done with the verses of men.
It's useless to write down their wordly cries.
Better that we should leave together and
Make our nest in the depths of the sky.
This poem is for Meng Jiao's wife. People matter to Meng Jiao. More than that, friends are important to him. And more than that, he values the women in his life. We know nothing of his private life, women-wise. But he has shared his feelings for three women: his first wife, the older woman in the west, and his second wife. Life is turbulent in the mid-to-late Tang dynasty. When all is said and done, even in his fifties or early sixties, Meng Jiao would prefer to just go off into the wilderness with his wife. But they don't go. He keeps his official jobs and takes care of his wife and mother until he is gone.