Poems of Mi Fu
(Wishing Prime Minister Ji long life)
A warm wind stirs a pool full of water lilies.
Morning clouds above the tower are few.
Ornate tower, splendid hall, auspicious occasion.
All bow in the smoke of jade incense burners.
Pour the best liquor.
Bring out the largest wine vessel.
Bless this feast.
A proper youth to endure maturity.
Great fortune for a stern father.
Riches and honor and long life.
This is probably the poem actually sent to Prime Minister Ji, where as the first Partridge Day poem more clearly expressed Mi Fu's opinion of the man. This poem also has a subtext. But it is harder to get to. You'd have to work at it. And then you couldn't blame it on Mi Fu because he could plead his innocence along with your motives for slandering him. Without working too hard at it, we have a pestilent wind among the lilies, too few intelligent men in the palace, too much drinking being done, and the suggestion of sex with underage girls. But it seems as if you can't create a subtext from beginning to end. Mi Fu's low opinion of Ji is only expressed in these little booby-traps placed here and there in a way that provides plausible deniability.