Poems of Meng Jiao
The king with twenty-one vassals visits the Temple of Realization
Friends from the capitol silently gather,
Their horses raising a cloud of dust.
Visiting monks, slow steps, evening bells,
Discussing tea, cherishing spring's frangrance.
Precious jade sceptre, ice in the hand.
White-painted walls, painted bright deities.
Red spaciousness, quiet calm of hibiscus.
Blue temple, jeweled colors spread everywhere.
Profound discussion, from the isles to the peaks.
Deep chants rise up; new words are written.
Frequent laughter, banquet mid chill bamboo.
All in all, a gathering of virtuous guests.
Look back in shame at all that we've lost.
This wasting disease destroys our moral character.
This is the second of Meng Jiao's poems about this king, presumably of Chu, and his companions. They are called yuan2wai4 (员外) which, in the context of the Spring and Autumn Era must mean feng1jian4 (封建) vassals. These were analogous to Western feudal vassals. But they were bound by family lineage, not by oath. And they were almost completely autonomous.
I continue to think that Meng Jiao is constantly working on expressing certain ideals in a concrete way in poetry. This poem very compactly pursues the goals laid out in Five Gurglings. And it reduces the criticism of the poet and the presence of the "present-day north" to the final couplet.