I had many dreams while I was still young:

To be king of the world even corners far-flung,

Or chancellor, a mandarin of rank loftily high…

But now, grown-up, I am only an orderly guy!


Nowadays, where are my wishes going to at all?

My reign has already waned thru rise and fall;

My palaces are reduced to this attic narrow;

With guards irreverent, uncivil, just to harrow.


Disillusioned, my dynasty collapsed at a blow;

And you, the queen, did not return to the chateau.

Whatever have I left in that naïve past drear?

Oh, only mossy castles, vestiges of man’s sphere.


Today, too sad, I stir the dim stream to reminisce

And see my shadow sink deep down the abyss!

The black crows are awaiting my corpse to rise

For them to tear the blots and for me to agonize.


Although an adult, I still remain a little child,

Innocently nurture dreams of old times so mild;

I still continue to build vainly lordship on sand,

Embracing the human heart amazedly to stand.  


Translation by Thanh-Thanh