To see you off, I did not have any wine

Like myriad heroes, myriad years of yore so fine;

Neither a river – “the Rubicon”– as people called,

Nor horse, sword, scimitar, archery, thus bald.


Only one dipperful of water I offered you

To drain dry and bid our luckless love adieu!

I was too poor, I did not have a wartime coat

To hand you, even a half-dong banknote.


Looking at one another with red eyes to mean

Each fallen leaf lets pain last three years between.

Hands had already shaken hands, then war arrived;

Awaiting each other in future returned is revived.


Secluded sunset had appeared in your eyes unfit.

Where are you now? Do you remember it?

One brown shirt, the shoulder tear would extend,

But you had to leave now, how could I mend?


A small pack of provisions as a balm

Provided for you by your beloved old mom

Which was not delicacies with delicious spice

But only spathe-compressed handfuls of brown rice

That her skinny hands carefully stringed, had done

And with tears in eyes smiling, to hand her son.


Though I am not a bard,

I endeavor to offer you a poem with great regard,

A kind of maudlin verse

Just in aimlessness thousands of days to immerse!

So many seasons rain and flood came to this land,

I am still pallidly crazy about a knight-errant grand!



Translation by THANH-THANH