Poems of Meng Jiao
Weeping for Vassal Li Dan. Also sent to Middle Deputy Du.
In life and death, you preserved your friendly manner.
Your distant spirit must bear the pain of awaiting revenge.
For ten years, you were with us on the northern plains.
What more can we do than weep at your tomb's gates?
Well, there's a completely un-heartfelt poem if I ever saw one. This is no doubt an official poem which Meng Jiao appears to have knocked out in about two minutes. He sent a copy to Middle Deputy Du (perhaps Meng Jiao's immediate superior?) and went back to working on his own poetry, or back to sleep. Back to something, anyway.
I should add that the above translation is probably mostly wrong. One thing dictionaries don't seem to have much of is classical officialese, the kind of stuff the bureaucrats filled their memos with. In this brief poem there are plenty of character pairs which could well be lost bigrams of this kind of official-speak. So the poem is probably not as insensitive as I make it sound.
齰齖 is apparently "gnashing teeth" and I'm only guessing that 报 here means "vengeance." Its other possibilities make the poem even more boring. Even if Meng Jiao's contemporaries would have seen this as an acceptable memorial poem, to me, no matter how you slice it, it seems just short of "...and don't let the screen door hit you in the ass on your way down to hell."
But what do I know? Is this poem in the scrolls because Meng Jiao preserved it in his collected works? Or is it only here because he died before he could chuck it in the trash? We just can't know.
Afterthought: Vassal (外员) was a remnant title from the Zhou period. So perhaps this is actually an elegant memorial in the style of the Zhou. This would explain why the emperor, or whoever, asked Meng Jiao to be the writer of it and would be a reason for Meng Jiao to preserve it. Maybe. Just a thought.