There is a railroad not far from where I dwell;

The night train wails within listening distance.

Its whistle in my remembrance recalls well

My dadís eager dream throughout his existence.


At least once he yearned, by his ardor urged,

To ride an express train from South to North,

Right after the country from hostilities emerged,

To revisit old beautiful sceneries henceforth.


Alas! one day he deceased, still discontent,

Leaving behind the modest wish yet not come true.

But, were he to live unto this day of no consent,

He would feel each night more grief so undue.


What is on earth that exceeds the irony bitter

If not that upon the end of firing and dying

The crowds had to rush and seek refuge hither,

Crossing the risky oceans, any dangers defying?


Here, I have been longing and will still wait

For a glorious return from this exile line,

For his sake to realize his reverie, though late,

To contemplate again the landscape in the shine.


Yes, to admire the divinely splendid country

Where ancestorsí d drawn swords since foundation

Setting bright examples of national recovery

To dutiful heirs of that non-severable nation.


But, there each night  the train whistles and wails

Since the railroad is close to where I reside.

As still wheels are rolling on chill steel rails,

Its whistle rends my heart with nostalgia inside.



                Vietnamese poem by HỒ MỘNG THIỆP

                 English translation by THANH-THANH