Truyện Kiều – The Tale of Kieu

Truyện Kiều

Nguyễn Du

Trăm năm trong cõi người ta,
Chữ tài chữ mệnh khéo là ghét nhau.
Trải qua một cuộc bể dâu,
Những điều trông thấy mà đau đớn lòng.

Lạ gì bỉ sắc tư phong,
Trời xanh quen thói má hồng đánh ghen.
Cảo thơm lần giở trước đèn,
Phong tình cổ lục còn truyền sử xanh.

Rằng: Năm Gia-tĩnh triều Minh,
Bốn phương phẳng lặng hai kinh chữ vàng.
Có nhà viên ngoại họ Vương,
Gia tư nghỉ cũng thường thường bậc trung.

Một trai con thứ rốt lòng,
Vương Quan là chữ nối dòng nho gia.
Đầu lòng hai ả tố nga,
Thúy Kiều là chị em là Thúy Vân.
Mai cốt cách tuyết tinh thần,
Mỗi người một vẻ mười phân vẹn mười.

Vân xem trang trọng khác vời,
Khuôn trăng đầy đặn nét ngài nở nang.
Hoa cười ngọc thốt đoan trang,
Mây thua nước tóc tuyết nhường màu da.

Kiều càng sắc sảo mặn mà,
So bề tài sắc lại là phần hơn.
Làn thu thủy nét xuân sơn,
Hoa ghen thua thắm liễu hờn kém xanh.

Một hai nghiêng nước nghiêng thành,
Sắc đành đòi một tài đành họa hai.
Thông minh vốn sẵn tính trời,
Pha nghề thi họa đủ mùi ca ngâm.

Cung thương làu bậc ngũ âm,
Nghề riêng ăn đứt hồ cầm một trương.
Khúc nhà tay lựa nên xoang,
Một thiên Bạc mệnh lại càng não nhân.

Phong lưu rất mực hồng quần,
Xuân xanh xấp xỉ tới tuần cập kê.
Êm đềm trướng rủ màn che,
Tường đông ong bướm đi về mặc ai.

(English Version)

The Tale of Kieu

Author: Nguyễn Du
Translation: Đặng Hoàng Lan

1.
For one hundred years in the realm of humans,
Talent and Fate were envious of each other.
As we went through a harrowing change,
Those things we witnessed filled our heart with pain.
5.
It is not a wonder that the more talent, the less fate.
Heaven is often jealous of beauty.
This sweet story opens under a lamp,
With a tale of ancient love from long ago.
It is said that in the Chia-Ching Empire of the Ming dynasty,
10.
All lands were in peace and the two capitals were stable.
There once lived a family named Vuong,
Belonging to the middle class of society.
The family’s only son and last born child was Quan Vuong,
Who was responsible for carrying the name of the Confucian family.
15.
The first born children were two magnificent daughters.
Thuy Kieu was the elder sister and Thuy Van was the younger one.
Both of them had apricot figures and snow spirits.
Each had their own look but they were both perfectly beautiful.
Van looked so extraordinarily elegant,
20.
With her full moon face and her curly bold eyebrows.
Her smile was like a fresh blooming flower and her voice was as clear as jade.
Clouds yielded her hair and snow ceded her skin.
Kieu was even more attractive and charming.
She had outstanding natural beauty and talent.
25.
Her eyes were as pure as a fall lake and her brows were as full as a spring hill.
Flowers begrudged her crimson lips and willow trees craved her verdant hair.
Her glance could dethrone a king.
Her talent and beauty were impeccable.
She was endowed with an inherent intelligence.
30.
She excelled in poetry, chanting, and painting.
She had perfect pitch in each musical octave.
She had an unrivaled talent for playing the lute.
She wrote and composed many of her own songs,
With lyrics about the suffering and heartbreak of women.
35.
As refined and noble as the sisters were.
Even though they had reached the age of marriage,
They remained homebound possessing good morality,
Without caring about the flirtations of butterflies and bees.

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