THE OLD SONG
I still miss and sing the old song time and again;
Seeing my country like this I suddenly laugh and cry in pain.
I think of the national flag in the front line to stand
When I still kneeled setting hopes on, oh Homeland!
That song sounded like rising storms with its beat
So sublime and flaming my fervor to heat.
Waves in green fatigues under the flag spirit-in-flesh
Used their blood to write history which is yet fresh.
Accustomed to sleeps alongside brooks as a bet
Many a time they ran dry, we had to lick our sweat.
Just for that because the lyrics like a sharp sword
Penetrated our heart, touching the right chord.
In those days, stones soft, feet firm, as of renown,
Despite casualties all obstacles we trampled down;
Riding the chargers we were to fight the malign swine
For our country to bathe in the moonlight so fine.
Who could guess I would bitterly cry this day
Looking around for my Fatherland already far away.
Through the tea flavor I reminisce my native place,
Reading the Declaration of Independence: such grace!
Alas! Only the former political prisoners as I
Often sing the old song to swallow sorrow and sigh.
Where are Rivers and Mountains, my dearest of all?
All my life I am ready to respond to Your Sacred Call!
Vietnamese poem by NGUYỄN PHÚC SÔNG HƯƠNG
English translation by THANH-THANH