Truyện Kiều – The Tale of Kieu (Verses 915-950)

Truyện Kiều (Câu 915-950)

Nguyễn Du

915.
Dặm khuya, ngất tạnh, mù khơi,
Thấy trăng mà thẹn những lời non sông.
Rừng thu từng biếc xen hồng,
Nghe chim như nhắc tấm lòng thần hôn.
Những là lạ nước lạ non,

920.
Lâm Truy vừa một tháng tròn tới nơi.
Xe châu dừng bánh cửa ngoài,
Rèm trong đã thấy một người bước ra.
Thoắt trông lờn lợt màu da,
Ăn gì cao lớn đẫy đà làm sao!

925.
Trước xe lơi lả han chào,
Vâng lời nàng mới bước vào tận nơi.
Bên thì mấy ả mày ngài,
Bên thì ngồi bốn năm người làng chơi.
Giữa thì hương án hẳn hoi,

930.
Trên treo một tượng trắng đôi lông mày.
Lầu xanh quen lối xưa nay,
Nghề này thì lấy ông này tiên sư,
Hương hôm hoa sớm phụng thờ.
Cô nào xấu vía, có thưa mối hàng,

935.
Cởi xiêm trút áo sỗ sàng,
Trước thần sẽ nguyện mảnh hương lầm rầm.
Đổi hoa lót xuống chiếu nằm,
Bướm hoa bay lại ầm ầm tứ vi
Kiều còn ngơ ngẩn biết gì,

940.
Cứ lời lạy xuống, mụ thì khấn ngay:
“Cửa hàng buôn bán cho may,
Đêm đêm Hàn thực ngày ngày Nguyên tiêu.
Muôn nghìn người thấy cũng yêu,
Xôn xao oanh yến, dập dìu trúc mai.

945.
Tin nhạn vẩn, lá thư bời,
Đưa người cửa trước, rước người cửa sau”.
Lạ tai nghe chửa biết đâu,
Xem tình ra cũng những màu dở dang.
Lễ xong hương hỏa gia đường,

(English Version)

The Tale of Kieu (Verses 915-950)

Author: Nguyễn Du
Translation: Đặng Hoàng Lan

915. The carriage covered a great distance that terrible night.
Kieu felt ashamed to be seen by the moon that witnessed her pledge.
They hastened through autumn forests, with leaves of red and gold.
She weeped, the bird’s songs a reminder of her beloved parents.
All that she could imagine was an arduous future of isolation.

920. They arrived in Lam Truy after a long month of traveling.
The carriage stopped at the front entrance to a house and
A woman quickly appeared from behind the inner curtain.
At first glance, her face was pale with a waxen complexion,
But what did she eat to become so great with weight!?

925.
Striding to the carriage, she barked at Kieu.
Kieu stepped down, and submissively followed her into the house.
Along one side of the room there were some pretty girls,
On the other side were seated four or five whoremasters.
In the middle of the room was an altar, quite a formal one.

930. On the wall above hung a picture of an old man with white eyebrows.
It was a long-standing custom of such houses,
They seemed to worship the biggest patron of their business.
They made offerings of flowers to him and burnt incense constantly.
On a day the unlucky whoremonger had too few customers

935. She would strip off her clothes in front of this benefactor.
While naked, with all focus, light the incense and mutter prayers
And then take the dead flowers from the altar to put under the bed.
And then they wait and watch the butterflies and bees gather.
She was bewildered and quite startled by this strange scene.

940.
Obediently, Kieu knelt down while the old woman was praying,
“May our shop be prosperous in business,
May every day be a party and every night as crowded as New Year’s Eve.
May all men who come here fall in love with Kieu.
Make men flock to this house like bees to flowers and swarm us.

945.
May we be overcome with requests, saying farewell to customers
In front, meanwhile welcoming others from the back door!”
These words confused and frightened Kieu, wholly, and suddenly
She felt the whole situation seemed to be unreal. Like a dream.
When the disconcerting ceremony and prayer was finished,

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