Poems of Meng Jiao
Landscapes of Yue
Day reveals the senses' triumph
As I enter this landscape province.
It seems to be the land of the immortals
With wild fields floating in the air.
Thousands of jade cliffs wind round.
Uncountable clear springs flow.
Repeated walks cannot exhaust this place.
What can end this wandering of thoughts?
Yue rivers' purity is hard to defile.
Yue's skies soon fill with clouds.
Fresh spirit with nothing hidden.
Eye gazes out into distant completeness.
Ordinariness lifted into charming greenness.
Winter followed by a gathering of soft fragrance.
Water-chesnut lakes crowded with kingfishers.
Fields of tea where no ground is wasted.
Enjoy differences. Rush into the distance.
Search out the unusual and linger there long.
Always remember the colors of Zhongnan.
Now go and melt away men's worries.
This poem echoes the thinking of Stony Gurglings: keep the pure north and add the sweet south. The line "Always remember the colors of Zhongnan" refers to the mountains by the northern capital of Chang'an. And this entire poem, by speaking of Yue and not Chu, is Meng Jiao's way of generalizing the south. The resonances of ancient Chu were strong in the Tang poetic mind. Meng Jiao wanted poetry to escape that prison too and break out into all of the Spring and Autumn purity.