A LOVE POEM FOR HUÉ

 

 

Back to Hué!  The green leaves on the dreamy way

suddenly seemed to set the sun in my soul to sway;

since that early in the morning a certain bird

has made various vague tunes in my heart heard.

 

You came home.  Steps resound in the small alley,

light smoke skim along in the Imperial Citadel pally.

Though stony, I become so surprisingly upset

as the once I wondered if I had lost my self yet.

 

The River of Perfumes gets nostalgic in fall;

Its fog and flowers make your sad air enthrall;

that stream of youth’s hair is source of eternal love;

you still are always a kind of naive dreamlike dove.

 

Over the eyes of that Hué morose ancient shrine

I, the nomad, to brush with a kiss did once incline;

the Sacred Lady’s dodder caught my affection to fill

like a light evening breeze on the Huong Tra Hill.

 

You have got home, and I aged with so long to miss,

Oh Royal Capital, coaches and horses of old bliss!

I feel I reel with send-off spirits on the parting plate:

Is this the only bitter remainder of my thus bitter fate?

 

                              Translation by THANH-THANH