Truyện Kiều – The Tale of Kieu (Verses 1440-1475)

Truyện Kiều (Câu 1440-1475)

Nguyễn Du

1440.
Đầu đuôi kể lại sự ngày cầu thân:
“Nàng đà tính trứơc xa gần,
Từ xưa nàng đã biết thân có rày!
Tại tôi hứng lấy một tay,
Để nàng cho đến nỗi này vì tôi!”

1445.
Nghe lời nói cũng thương lời,
Dẹp uy mới dạy cho bài giải vi.
Rằng: “Như hẳn có thế thì…
Trăng hoa song cũng thị phi biết điều!”
Sinh rằng: “Chút phận bọt bèo,

1450.
Theo đòi vả cũng ít nhiều bút nghiên”.
Cười rằng: “Đã thế thì nên,
Mộc già hãy thử một thiên trình nghề”.
Nàng vâng, cất bút tay đề,
Tiên hoa trình trước án phê, xem tường.

1455.
Khen rằng: “Giá lợp Thịnh Đường,
Tài này sắc ấy nghìn vàng chưa cân!
Thật là tài tử giai nhân,
Châu, Trần còn có Châu, Trần nào hơn?
Thôi đừng rước dữ, cưu hờn,

1460.
Làm chi lỡ dịp cho đờn ngang cung.
Đã đưa đến trước cửa công,
Ngoài thì là lý, song trong là tình.
Dâu con trong đạo gia đình,
Thôi thì dẹp nỗi bất bình là xong”.

1465.
Kíp truyền sắm sửa lễ công,
Kiệu hoa cất gió, đuốc hồng điểm sao.
Bày hàng cổ xúy xôn xao,
Song song đưa tới trướng đào sánh đôi.
Thương vì hạnh, trọng vì tài,

1470.
Thúc ông thôi cũng dẹp lời phong ba.
Huệ lan sực nức một nhà,
Từng cay đắng lại mặn mà hơn xưa
Mảng vui rượu sớm trà trưa,
Đào đà phai thắm, sen vừa nẩy xanh.

(English Version)

The Tale of Kieu (1440-1475)

Author: Nguyễn Du
Translation: Chamberlain Kim Anh Ellen and Đặng Hoàng Lan

1440.
Recounting all, from their first meeting until now, telling of
That day he begged her, “She said what would likely happen,
Sooner or later, and she knew that one day we’d meet this end.
She accepted me because I promised, I swore to be her hero.
I said I would take responsibility, and so all the blame lies with me!”

1445.
Upon hearing Thuc confess, the Mandarin’s demeanor softened,
He began to advise them, he wanted to help the lovelorn youths.
He turned to Thuc, “If what you say of her is true, we can agree
This flower of your desire does know right from wrong?”
Thuc answered quickly, “She is poor, and so humble, an angel.

1450.
Moreover, she has a talent for poetry, literature and playing music.”
Laughing kindly as Thuc bragged, the Mandarin asked “Is that so?
Let’s prove this to the court, I ask that she compose a poem.”
Weakly, Kieu took the fine brush pen and writing paper,
Improvised some verses and handed them to the Mandarin.

1455.
“I see more beauty herein than in the library of the Tang dynasty!
Her talent is invaluable! These words are delivered with such grace!
Possessing such a rare beauty, combined with a cultured mind,
No stricter parents could hope to find a better wife for any son!
Relent old man, apologize for the discord of your worry and anger,

1460.
For it disturbs the pure harmony of these well-tuned lutes.
As one who prosecutes, in public I must speak of law,
But privately I’m more concerned with what I feel is just.
You must believe and remember, old man, your son will surely
Be beside you, always, with his bride. Please, family, forgive all!”

1465.
He decreed that they be officially wed and immediately was heard
A mellifluous melody played on pipe and drum, preceding
A flower-decked palanquin with torches glowing like stars, then,
Following the custom, they were led to a pink-curtained bridal bed.
Strictly due to her virtue and talent, Thuc’s father began to see.

1470.
Any question of her worthiness disappeared, his anger ebbed.
And now, as before, the scent of orchids and roses filled their home.
Whatever lie in the future, with the affliction past, love was infinite.
Absorbed in endless rounds of morning wine and tea at noon,
Lotus leaves sprung unnoticed, blooms fell, a blissful year passed.

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