Farewell to Wei Wang

Meng, Hao Jan     (689 A.D.-740 A.D.)

After I failed the Advanced Exam,
I have been constantly unhappy

Because I have not been able to find a job.
Everyday I return to my hotel 1 with no hope.
I want to be a hermit who looks for fragrant grass 2,
But I would hate to part with my old friend 3.
Who in power will recommend me for a position?
I resolve to be content with my loneliness,
Return home, and close my door.

1 Meng went from his hometown to China's capital to take the Advanced Exam. He had to stay in a hotel.

2 In ancient Chinese poems, fragrant grass symbolizes virtue.

3 The old friend here refers to Wei Wang. Wang was a high-ranking official, but he had no power to hire people.