Nguyen Trai

(1380-1442 / Viet Nam)

Con Son Ballad - Poem by Nguyen Trai

Con Son's streams babble
As music from a stringed instrument.
Con Son embraces the mossy boulders exposed to the sun,
Sitting on these boulders as if sitting on velvety mats.
In the adjacent jungle, there are plentiful of pine trees,
Providing myriad parasols to sit and rest.
In the cool shade of the bamboo,
Among the immense green, I declaim verses leisurely,
Now, now with half my life gone by,
Why should I bother with fame and gain?
Do I really need wealth and position?
Since rice with vegetable and plain water are more than enough.
Look at Dong Trac, Nguyen Tai,
With abundant goods as well as their gold in their warehouse.
But look too at Thu Mountain,
Di Te would rather starve than eat Chu's grain.
Wisdom or folly is hard to define,
Each of the two made their own choice.
Throughout the centuries of the human condition,
Every thing will be decomposed.
Sorrow and joy leap-frog,
Now is luxuriant, now is withered.
Now living in a castle, to living on a hillside,
Once involved in death, the game of honor and shame is over.
If Sao Do were be reborn,
They would date Con Son to serve their muses.


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Poem Submitted: Tuesday, September 7, 2010



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