Poems of Meng Jiao
Relying on the Zhou ways of my ancestors to get through having tea with young worthies of the court
Thoughts of the Way avoid tedium.
My mood is ill and without joy.
Senseless tea, jade flowers faded.
Yue porcelain empty but for leaves.
Brocade river has a fresh color.
Shu's mountains surround with fragrance.
Base of clouds shear off green trees.
Heavy rain now in the red light.
Once, I tried to be respectable.
In the end, just another old poet.
If I'm lucky, you'll send me something
To save this sick old body.
In short, "I'd rather be anywhere but here." You wonder who he's writing this poem to. And if he composed it, or even wrote it, during the tea gathering. This is another poem where I can only give you bits and pieces. Fortunately, they make a whole.
Shu, by the way, is the old kingdom which was defeated by the Qin and became, eventually, Sichuan. The Qin conquered it and made it the rice basket of the empire, deep in their hinterland.