Poems of Meng Jiao
Returning from court, I come upon a meeting of old-school Jiangnan monks
Meeting, amidst disappointments.
So many feelings just from hearing them talk.
A memorial for the dead in the Eastern Grove.
Holding back tears on Mount Beimang.
A box of writing left behind in a
Landscape full of ancient energy.
A mortal life spent writing freely,
Old ink flying down the page.
By a crumbling hut beside a mountain stream,
In nothingness, I sit amid green pines.
Profound pearls in hundreds of dark springs,
Shut to the common crowds by a dead moon.
Eternal gratitude for a lifetime of words.
But who is apt to sympathize deeply?
The first verse seems to be about meeting the monks on Mount Beimang during a funeral. But the funeral appears to turn Meng Jiao's thoughts inwards. He has been feeling for some time as if he were nearing the end of his life. We can see that his love for poetry and for Buddhist practice have endured to the end. And we can see that his wish is for his work to be understood.
The final line is more literally, "A close and sympathetic friend, who is likely to be that?" And line 12, which comes across as strikingly poetic, is possibly (probably) wrong. But it is the sense I make of [moon][dead][crowds][appearance][shut]. Mount Beimang (or just Mt. Mang) is near Luoyang.