Poems of Meng Jiao
List of the Immortals: the Golden Mother Flies in Emptiness song
I go out in my carriage for the scenery and
Suddenly I'm entering Jade Purity.
Flocks of dragons skim the clouds and
Tiger banners are born by crimson troops.
A rickety, freewheeling orchestra strikes up,
Playing wildly, with nary a pause.
It's sad here. I could leave or stay.
Robbed of everything, Heaven and Earth exhausted.
I should search this empty landscape, where
Nothing dies or gets born either.
Lesser men naturally go that way.
I silently watch as they conform to the darkness.
Mt. Heng stands there upright and useless.
Jade Hero displays his glorious wit.
It's other people's job to waste their time on such.
Beyond thought, I enter divine emptiness.
There's a big banquet down on Purple River.
Let's go and sing this for the crimson heroes.
This is T.S. Eliot, long before T.S. Eliot. The first of these 列仙 poems was mild by comprison, seeming mostly to be Meng Jiao making fun of himself. The second expanded its criticism into the literary world. This is either an even broader social criticism or a deeper criticism of the literati. I would guess the latter. But I wouldn't bet money on it.