Poems of Meng Jiao
On the Riverbank with Minister Li
The general discerns Heaven's plan
And troops arrive without bloodshed.
Three armies in a harsh winter and
All are comfortable in warm clothes.
Swords freeze in the army's scabbards.
At night the stars are dim.
A goshawk long stands alone --
This fierce bird dare not fly.
The army's blocking Heaven's Gate.
A river bridge, the defense's key.
How can the general be at peace,
Guarding here what we call our hopes?
The poor scholars are all pale.
The wealthy hoard within their gates.
Try to climb the highest peaks and
Gaze down on green vastness.
The peak's benevolence is already vast.
To natural vast greenness all hearts return.
Minister Li may also be General Li. This is probably the case as Meng Jiao seems to be exhorting him here to humanity (仁). I should point out that the breaking up of Chinese poems into quatrains is somewhat artificial. The poets, especially in regulated poetry, think in quatrains. But in the scrolls, this would be on long series of vertically written lines going from right to left.