Poems of Meng Jiao
Crying for my country's blackened purity
Parting, it's hard to be hopeful.
But life and death comes down to hot or cold.
Tying up my horse at your gate,
I hear your sadness but manage not to cry.
I can be grateful for my talents.
I've even wound up with a decent salary.
But Heaven has disappointed me.
Eternal regret is all I can see.
All my life, I've wanted a son
Like everyone tells me I should.
The title is kind of problematic. Really problematic, actually. I can make other senses of it. But they are less helpful than this one.
Who is he visiting? A friend who has been unjustly treated and banished by the empire? The house of a friend who has died?
And the whole mess isn't helped by Meng Jiao starting out with one poem and ending up with another. Bai Juyi does this all the time. The great Tang poets (great to my mind, anyway) are just fine with inspiration taking their poem off on a tangent. Apparently, their audiences were happy with this, too. I, for one, have no problem with it, even if it makes translation a bit of a challenge.