Truyện Kiều – The Tale of Kieu (Verses 1510-1545)

Nguyễn Du

1510.
Đến nhà trước liệu nói sòng cho minh.
Dù khi sóng gió bất tình,
Lớn ra uy lớn, tôi đành phận tôi.
Hơn điều giấu ngược giấu xuôi.
Lại mang những việc tày trời đến sau.

1515.
Thương nhau xin nhớ lời nhau,
Năm chầy cũng chẳng đi đâu mà chầy.
Chén đưa nhớ bữa hôm nay,
Chén mừng xin đợi ngày này năm sau!”
Người lên ngựa kẻ chia bào,

1520.
Rừng phong, thu đã nhuộm màu quan san.
Dặm hồng, bụi cuốn chinh an,
Trông người đã khuất mấy ngàn dâu xanh.
Người về chiếc bóng năm canh,
Kẻ đi muôn dặm, một mình xa xôi.

1525.
Vầng trăng ai xẻ làm đôi,
Nửa in gối chiếc, nửa soi dặm trường?
Kể chi những nỗi dọc đường,
Buồn trong, này nỗi chủ trương ở nhà:
Vốn dòng họ Hoạn danh gia,

1530.
Con quan Lại bộ tên là Hoạn thư.
Duyên Đằng thuận nẻo gió đưa,
Cùng chàng kết tóc xe tơ những ngày.
Ở ăn thì nết cũng hay,
Nói điều ràng buộc thì tay cũng già.

1535.
Từ nghe vườn mới thêm hoa,
Miệng người đã lắm, tin nhà thì không.
Lửa tâm càng dập càng nồng,
Trách người đen bạc ra lòng trăng hoa.
“Ví bằng thú thật cùng ta,

1540.
Cũng dung kẻ dưới mới là lượng trên.
Dại chi chẳng giữ lấy nền,
Tốt chi mà rước tiếng ghen vào mình.
Lại còn bưng bít giấu quanh,
Làm chi những thói trẻ ranh nực cười.

(English Version)

The Tale of Kieu (Verses 1510-1545)

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

1510.
Upon your arrival please, you must tell her everything!
If her response is wrathful and she wants to punish you
You must allow her rightful position and I will acquiesce.
Surely that is better than always looking over our shoulder.
If we don’t tell her the truth, these fears will always haunt us.

1515.
Please hear me as deeply as you say you love me;
A year sounds like a long time, but will pass so quickly!
Remember this very moment often, our farewell cup and
Believe with me that on this day in a year it will be a welcome cup!”
She nudged him up onto his horse and reluctantly let go his vest.

1520.
It being Autumn, the colorful maple lined the long mountain pass,
And his horses’ hooves stirred clouds of red dust as they advanced.
They steadily grew smaller in her sight thru the mulberry groves.
Despondent, numb, she returned to their home, alone, as a ghost,
While Thuc, a solitary traveler, trod on, already just a memory.

1525.
Half trying to fill an empty bed, as the other flees into the darkness,
We must wonder, who had split the moon in two, God, fate or hope?
It does no good for either or any to wonder what he sees in his path.
No, no good at all, so let us now say a word about his legal wife.
She belonged to the renowned Hoan family, elites, prestigious.

1530.
Known as Hoan Thu, she was the daughter of a statesman.
The winds of fortune had carried her toward a perfect perch,
A seat at the head of the table, found in the home of Thuc.
She was stately and elegant with manners befitting royalty
And her skill for debate was lauded and beyond reproach.

1535.
People talked and rumours swirled, and she guessed of an affair.
Everyone whispered, but she had never heard it from Thuc himself.
The more she tried to deny it within herself, the bitterness increased
Convincing her it was strictly the fault of the mysterious wench.
“If he had just confessed” she muttered angrily,“I might’ve allowed

1540.
Him to discreetly fetch his trollop home without a fuss,
And let her live with us to show my magnanimity!
I’m not a child and don’t wish to succumb to jealousy!
His recklessness risks my reputation as a lady of the manor
And makes a fool of us both, inviting gossip all thru this town!

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