Nguyễn Thụy Đan – To the tune of “Niệm Nô Kiều”

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念奴嬌

更深山靜
幾回鄉夢斷
布衾如鐵
想得古今桑海變
消盡許多豪傑
周道倭遲
漢風日異
蕭索皇陵闕
更堪回首
枉教悲慨義烈

夜永幽室寥寥
當爐攜卷
桌燈明還滅
報國殲仇心未已
頭白金山霏雪
身老遐方
怒沖霄漢
何日迴南越
江山如昨
掃除胡虜餘孽

Niệm Nô Kiều

Canh thâm sơn tĩnh
Kỷ hồi hương mộng đoạn
Bố khâm như thiết
Tưởng đắc cổ kim tang hải biến
Tiêu tận hứa đa hào kiệt
Chu đạo uy trì
Hán phong nhật dị
Tiêu sách hoàng lăng khuyết
Cánh kham hồi thủ
Uổng giao bi khái nghĩa liệt

Dạ vĩnh u thất liêu liêu
Đương lô huề quyển
Trác đăng minh hoàn diệt
Báo quốc tiêm cừu tâm vị dĩ
Đầu bạch Kim Sơn phi tuyết
Thân lão hà phương
Nộ xung tiêu hán
Hà nhật hồi Nam Việt
Giang sơn như tạc
Tảo trừ Hồ lỗ dư nghiệt

To the tune of “Nian nu chi’ao”

The watch grows deep, the mountains are still
How many times have homesick dreams been shattered
The cloth blanket is cold like iron
Reflecting on changes of past and present
How many heroes have been completely erased
The road to Chou is long and winding
The Han customs daily become more alien
The imperial graves are bleak and desolate
How can one bear to look back
In vain, inflaming my sad anger with righteous fury

The night goes on forever, the dark room still and silent
Facing the stove, I hold a book
On the table, a lamp flickers, now bright now dark
My desire to avenge the country and slaugther the enemy are not yet extinguished
But my hair has grown white, like the flying snow of Kim Sơn
Though my  body grows old in a distant land
My fury pierces through the high heavens
When will I return to Nam Việt
The countryside still the same as before
And wipe clean the remaining evil barbarians

Notes:

-Nian nu chi’ao (念奴嬌 , Niệm Nô Kiều), the name of a lyric meter (詞牌 , từ bài)

– “The road to Chou is long and winding” (周道倭遲 , Chu đạo uy trì) is a reference to a poem from the Classic of Songs (詩經 , Thi kinh):

四牡騑騑
周道倭遲
豈不懷歸
王事靡盬
我心傷悲

Tứ mẫu phi phi
Chu đạo uy trì
Khởi bất hoài quy
Vương sự mỹ cổ
Ngã tâm thương bi

James Legge translates:

My four steeds advanced without stopping;
The way from Zhou was winding and tedious.
Did I not have the wish to return?
But the king’s business was not to be slackly performed;
And my heart was wounded with sadness.

– “Han customs” (漢風 , Hán phong) refers to the culture and customs of the Vietnamese people. Before the twentieth century, the terms  Hán (漢) and Hoa (華) did not carry racial connotations referring specifically to “Chinese” people. Official documents written during the Nguyen dynasty refer to the Vietnamese people as Han people (漢民, Hán dân) and at various times in the past, the Vietnamese have described Vietnam as the “middle kingdom” (中國 , trung quốc), a term which today is associated only with mainland China.

 – Nam Việt (南越) is another name for Vietnam

– “lingering evil” (餘孽 , dư nghiệt) literally refers to a lingering evil presence or element, it can also refer to evil people

– This poem has been kindly translated into Vietnamese by the scholar and author, Trần Quang Đức (陳光德 , 1985 – ), courtesy name (字 , tự) Thí Phổ (施普),  pen-name (號 , hiệu) Vân Trai (雲齋):

Canh khuya núi lặng
Mộng quê bao bận đứt
Chăn mền như sắt
Ngẫm chuyện bể dâu phen mới cũ
Vùi dập biết bao hào kiệt
Tục Hán lạ lùng
Đường Chu xa lắc
Hoang lạnh lăng vua khuất
Ngoảnh nhìn đâu nỡ
Uổng xui buồn giận bứt rứt

Đêm trường buồng tối đìu hiu
Bên lò cầm sách
Đèn bàn cháy leo lét
Báo quốc diệt thù lòng vẫn bận
Đầu bạc Kim Sơn giăng tuyết
Già cỗi phương xa
Giận xông trời thẳm
Nao thuở về Nam Việt
Non sông như trước
Quét sạch giặc hồ dư nghiệt

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