Poems of Meng Jiao
Mourning at the grave of wealth
Abundant suffering, god of all the earth.
Satiator of every vessel under Heaven.
Your hollow strength has severed everything.
For wise or stupid, there is no other road.
For the flattered, you're the source of happiness.
The devoted lose themselves in you.
Hungry tigers don't eat their children.
But man has no compassion for his flesh and bone.
Sunbeams do not penetrate the earth to
Reach the souls who were hounded to death.
Their bones don't turn to dust.
Those bones must send down righteous roots.
I came today to this countryside, got off
My horse, and mourned here at this tomb.
Quiet study, among king and courtiers,
Is a way no one can criticize.
比干 in the title was a god of wealth, "Mourning at the God of Wealth's grave." In English, we have no word for 日影 which I translated as "sunbeams." This bigram names the patches of light which move upon a dark background (sunlight coming down to the ground through the leaves) or the play of brightness in your eyes (sunlight glistening upon the waters.) In English, you have to spell it all out. In Chinese, 日影 conjures all that up. The last two lines of the poem are a complete mystery to me (a feeling I'm well used to) and I have no idea whose grave he is really visiting. The last two lines would probably tell us whose grave it is if we knew Meng Jiao well enough. Which we can't, obviously.