Truyện Kiều – The Tale of Kieu (Verses 1580- 1615)

Nguyễn Du

1580.
Rút dây, sợ nữa động rừng lại thôi.
Có khi vui chuyện mua cười,
Tiểu thư lại giở những lời đâu đâu.
Rằng: “Trong ngọc đá vàng thau,
Mười phần ta đã tin nhau cả mười.

1585.
Khen cho những chuyện dông dài,
Bướm ong lại đặt những lời nọ kia.
Thiếp dầu vụng chẳng hay suy,
Đã dơ bụng nghĩ, lại bia miệng cười!”
Thấy lời thủng thỉnh như chơi,

1590,
Thuận lời chàng cũng nói xuôi đỡ đòn.
Những là cười phấn cợt son,
Đèn khuya chung bóng, trăng tròn sánh vai.
Thú quê thuần hức bén mùi,
Giếng vàng đã rụng một vài lá ngô.

1595.
Chạnh niềm nhớ cảnh giang hồ,
Một màu quan tái, mấy mùa gió trăng.
Tình riêng chưa dám rỉ răng,
Tiểu thư trước đã liệu chừng nhủ qua:
“Cách năm mây bạc xa xa,

1600.
Lâm Truy cũng phải tính mà thần hôn”.
Được lời như cởi tấm son,
Vó câu thẳng ruổi nước non quê người.
Long lanh đáy nước in trời,
Thành xây khói biếc non phơi bóng vàng.

1605.
Roi câu vừa gióng dặm trường, (1605)
Xe hương nàng cũng thuận đường quy ninh.
Thưa nhà huyên hết mọi tình,
Nỗi chàng ở bạc nỗi mình chịu đen.
Nghĩ rằng: “Ngứa ghẻ hờn ghen,

1610.
Xấu chàng mà có ai khen chi mình!
Vậy nên ngảnh mặt làm thinh,
Mưu cao vốn đã rắp ranh những ngày.
Lâm Truy đường bộ tháng chầy,
Mà đường hải đạo sang ngay thì gần.

(English Version)

The Tale of Kieu (Verses 1580-1615)

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

1580.
She feared all the leaves falling if she dare shake the tree
And so they discussed nothing of consequence, filling the air
With idle words and rambling trivialities and superficial smiles.
They deepened their denial claiming strength and trust they didn’t have,
Speaking what they knew to be untruths, desperate to bolster their hope.

1585.
“Bright beloved, how long and loud the gossip grew and grew-
Spreading rumors and spinning tales of butterflies and bees!
I don’t listen to this nonsense, nor consider it’s value,
Knowing if I did I would become an object of humiliation.”
And because she made the statement as a form of banter.

1590.
He responded in kind, calmly, with humor, intending to soothe her.
They flirted and giggled as she adorned herself with cosmetics,
Their shadows merging in the lamplight and the glow from the moon.
They nuzzled, finding comfort in the routine of him being ‘home’.
The plane-tree dropped a few gold leaves down the well.

1595.. His mind often wandered to his heart’s home, that faraway place
Where he had loved and lived happily with Kieu for four seasons.
Of course he could not share his reminiscing, his grief,
But the lady guessed what was in his mind.
“You’ve been far away from your father almost one year,

1600. Is it time to return to Lam Truy to check in on him?”
Her words seemed to untie the knot of his heart. He could exhale.
Hastening to depart, and ride towards that destination, so far away,
He felt relief as he gazed upon the water that glittered under blue skies.
He breathed in the valley walls and misty azure peaks gilded with sun.

1605. The day came that Thuc cracked the whip on his horse and set off.
His forlorn wife smiled and boarded the coach to see her parents.
She relayed the entire saga to her mother, in detail,
How he cheated and how she endured that insult in silence.
“A jealous rage is like a mangy itch” she mused.

1610.
It spreads over all, completely, is ugly to see and so painful.
I behaved as normal, as though I was completely unaware,
All the while itching but quietly imagining and plotting my revenge.
By land it take might take me a month to reach Lam Truy,
Though traveling by sea, I can still arrive soon enough.

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