Nhuan LeXuan

(1930 / Vietnam)

When I Have Passed Away Take Me to the Sea


An exile has nothing, even a tomb, though last and key.
Buried in foreign land, my corpse might not decompose,
My spirit can't leave, how to repatriate as they suppose?

When I have expired, take me to the heavy swells;
The adverse current will push my body without knells.
On the other side of the sea is my native soil,
Rows of bamboos thru time remain green despite coil.

When I have deceased, take me to the Pacific beach;
Remember not too soon to close my eyes, both or each,
So I may direct them towards my country a last time,
Lest my remains should not return to my dear clime.

When I have departed, take me to the west coast;
Do not hesitate or feel compassion for me this ghost.
Years ago, to fishes lots of people did fall prey;
Then, what's the use of one more distorted body, eh!

When I have faded away, take me to the ocean
For me to see again my children there, what emotion!
For me to watch them shed their hot tears stark
From their eyeballs that are already sadder than dark.

When I have gone forever, take me to the seaside,
And don't forget our national anthem singing to bide
(Oh, long since, nobody has chanted it anymore,
The song now has become almost a specter to bore.)

When I am dead, that melancholy will definitely end,
My exile's life and my nostalgic soul will well blend.

Submitted: Monday, October 28, 2013
Edited: Tuesday, October 29, 2013

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Poet's Notes about The Poem

Original 'Khi Tôi Chết Hãy Đem Tôi Ra Biển' by DU TỬ LE

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Translation by THANH-THANH

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