Poems of Xue Tao
Inscribed on Bamboo Master Temple
Before Bamboo Master Temple it is all ancient trees
And the deeper the sun sets, the greener these hills.
From what river village comes the sound of a flute --
Every note of its melody a welcoming here?
The title is troublesome. The character 郎 is common enough. It can mean Mister, husband, good man, young man, imperial official. None of which are very helpful for naming a temple. It could be "bamboo monk." Or it could be a bigram that has gotten away from us. That is to say, the two characters together used to mean something that is not the sum of their parts. And whatever that something was has gone away. Working with Chinese, you often get the feeling that, with all you know and all the resources you have, all it amounts to is a teaspoon of salt from an ocean long since dried up.