Sending Off Ling Che
Liu Changqing (709-785)
A temple in the vast green bamboo grove
Resounds its bell within the depth and dusk;
The setting sun slopes down your bamboo hat,
As going back from these green hills, you must.
Sòng Líng Chè
Cāng cāng zhú lín sì
Yǎo yǎo zhōng shēng wǎn
Hé lì dài xié yáng
Qīng shān dú guī yuǎn
Transliteration and Notes
Sending-off Ling Che
Green green bamboo grove temple
Deep deep bell sounds evening
Lotus bamboo-hat carries setting sun
Green mountain alone return remote
“Green green” means “ash gray” or “vast and hazy.” “Deep deep” means “deep and somber.” “Green mountain” or “green hills” symbolizes the good life. This is a spiritual extolling the beauty and solitude of a quiet life in the woods. Through the depth of a bamboo forest, he and his visitor hear the temple’s evening bell ring. As his guest returns, he watches him walk away while the setting sun slopes down the lines of his friend’s bamboo hat.
Liu Changqing was a poet and politician during the Tang Dynasty. Eleven of his poems were included in the 300 Tang Poems anthology.