Truyện Kiều – The Tale of Kieu (Verses 1650-1685)

Truyện Kiều (Câu 1650-1685)

Nguyễn Du

1650.
Đem vào để đó, lộn sòng ai hay?
Tôi đòi phách lạc, hồn bay,
Xông pha bụi cỏ, gốc cây ẩn mình.
Thúc ông nhà cũng gần quanh,
Chợt trông ngọn lửa thất kinh rụng rời.

1655.
Tớ thầy chạy thẳng đến nơi,
Tơi bời tưới lửa, tìm người lao xao.
Gió cao ngọn lửa càng cao,
Tôi đòi tìm đủ, nàng nào thấy đâu!
Hớt hơ, hớt hải nhìn nhau,

1660.
Giếng sâu, bụi rậm trước sau tìm quàng.
Chạy vào chốn cũ phòng hương,
Trong tro, thấy một đống xương cháy tàn.
Ngay tình, ai biết mưu gian,
Hẳn nàng, thôi lại còn bàn rằng ai?

1665.
Thúc ông sùi sụt ngắn dài,
Nghĩ con vắng vẻ, thương người nết na.
Di hài nhặt lấy về nhà,
Nào là khâm liệm, nào là tang trai.
Lễ thường đã vẹn một hai,

1670.
Lục trình, chàng cũng đến nơi bấy giờ.
Bước vào chốn cũ, lầu xưa,
Tro than một đống nắng mưa bốn tường.
Sang nhà cha, tới trung đường,
Linh sàng bài vị, thờ nàng ở trên.

1675.
Hỡi ơi, nói hết sự duyên,
Tơ tình đứt ruột lửa phiền cháy gan.
Gieo mình vật vã khóc than:
Con người thế ấy thác oan thế này!
Chắc rằng mai trúc lại vầy,

1680.
Ai hay vĩnh quyết là ngày đưa nhau.
Thương càng nghĩ, nghĩ càng đau,
Dễ ai rấp thảm, quạt sầu cho khuây!
Gần miền nghe có một thầy,
Phi phù trí quỷ, cao tay thông huyền.

(English Version)

The Tale of Kieu (Verses 1650-1685)

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

1650. They dragged the dead body to the fire to trick the onlookers.
The servants were panic stricken! Afraid for their own safety,
They scurried to hide behind bushes or in the grove of trees.
Thuc’s father lived nearby and was out of his wits,
In shock and trembling with fear at the sight of the flames!

1655. Shouting and gathering some servants, he rushed to Thuc’s house.
Desperately they began to search the grounds for victims of the fire.
The wind whipped up and the flames increased dramatically.
They agreed the rescue effort had been thorough, but fruitless.
Stunned they became frozen to the spot, almost speechless.

1660.
They redoubled their efforts and some went to search the well.
In the end, all eyes fell upon the area that had been the boudoir.
Among the charred debris seemed to be a pile of burned bones.
They couldn’t possibly know that this was a wicked ruse and
Not one of them didn’t assume they had found the bones of Kieu.

1665.
Old man Thuc fell to his knees, weeping and inconsolable.
He mourned the lovely girl that his smitten son had lost.
The ashes and bones were gathered and brought to his home,
To be sheathed and put in a coffin the following day.
And just like that, quite unceremoniously, Kieu was dead and buried.

1670. Soon, Thuc arrived on horseback, exhausted from his overland trek.
He stepped into the very room where they serenaded each other
And there were no walls at all, only charcoal and ash.
Hurriedly, in a daze, he rode to his father’s house, and burst in.
On an altar was a tablet bearing the inscription ‘Vuong Thuy Kieu’.

1675. Woe! That such tragedy had come to pass, just as she had feared!
Something beyond misery rent his heart and roiled in his guts.
He flopped to the floor and twisted about, gasping, as if in a fit.
Wailing piteously he murmured, “How could death have come for such a virtuous woman!?
I was certain our heaven would resume!!

1680. I was so certain our parting was temporary! It is too much to bear!”
Remorse consumed his thoughts and his senses abandoned him,
His shame, shock and regret was a Hell. He was overwrought.
He remembered once upon a time there was talk of a sorcerer…
If true and real, could he summon ghosts to tell the fate of the dead?

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