Plain Felicity Poem by Nhuan LeXuan

Plain Felicity

You are growing up, that means I am growing old;
But I continue to live because me in your flesh you hold.
Each word that you say sounds so sweet and soft,
I hear it like the voice of angels or seraphs aloft.

Oh your arms so amiable, oh your feet so fine:
Branches and leaves for foliage in the ancient tree design.
I will become stunted while you young sprouts shoot, thus
My life will be multiplied by yours many times plus.

Some day in the morning sunlight or evening moonlight
Perhaps to offer poetry to the universe you will also write.
I am the fruit, you are each a seed;
In you I am always young, I will never get aged indeed.

Oh my children... the new fair weather is again bright,
Limited life eventually becomes limitless to our delight.
Thus I have never held it against me when coming to bat
And only see compassion everywhere I look at
Since the taste of bitterness I have gone through as honey.

I think of the time when you all start out, sunny,
To step on spikes and thorns, defying any road-block,
Crazily loving Liberty like me before, as drunk with bock,
Erasing vindictive hatred in the future dictionary.

You will write about the exotic lands, each a visionary,
Standing at the foot of old Roman rampart now hushed
To witness the bricks with time mercilessly crushed:
Those palaces and castles have soon fallen into ruin.

They have perished, the suzerains once with so much din;
Only peaceful and beautiful Le Louvre Museum exists
With imposing and impressive Eiffel Tower in Paris;
Only remain here the works that old architects achieved
As original contributions by everybody perceived.

My dear children! We will never be lost:
Disappearance or existence all depends on our cost.
What would be more wonderful than an infinite aspiration,
The unshakable beliefs based on a firm foundation?

We have got our lives, then we are living! Oh, what bliss!
To live is to love... yes, live only to love, not to miss:
God looks at his image among humans as his mirror!

Vietnamese poem by HÀ THƯ Ợ NG NHÂN
English translation by THANH-THANH

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