RECALLING NGUYỄN DU

on his way through the Devilís Gate

     

In here I sit reading thousands of old book pages;

Out there still echoes the hubbub of wars on the march;

Snow storms against the window-panes, rain rages;

I think of the ancient poet, under the Devilís arch.

 

Through the Demonís Gate, clouds hung over the kloofs;

He missed his loved ones back in the South miles lying.

Trees agitated by winds, the horseís numbed hooks,

The moon sank on the mount, gibbons kept sighing.

 

Bored with peopleís faces he did not want to see,

Only heart-warming he had got some cupfuls of wine;

Being not old yet, why was he this much lazy

Only to contemplate that home on the hillside so fine.

 

Since with friends I have had no close relations rife,

Why do I worry about receptions and good-byes in vain?

That is all, let me say a few more thanks to this life

Which has offered me this inn to shelter from the rain.

     

Translation by THANH-THANH