On the Road Toward the Southern Pass


 
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Zhennanguan from Vietnam side.

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On the Road Toward the Southern Pass
        Nguyen Du 1765-1820

Now the jade order
        has been carried down 
                from the palace in the clouds,
My lone carriage sets off
        on a thousand league journey 
                across the Han pass.
All the way accompanied only 
        by my white hair,
For twenty days 
        all that I have seen 
                are green mountains.
My lord's benevolence 
        is like the sea
                impossible to repay,
The spring rains are so fertile
        but in my bones 
                I still feel the cold.
The King's roads are flat and wide
        no need to ask the way,
North of the Ming River 
        is Changan.
 
Nánguān Dàozhōng
Ruǎn Yōu 1765-1820

Yù shū pěng xià wǔ yún duān,
Wànlǐ dānchē dù Hànguān.
Yīlù xié lái wéi báifà,
Èr xún suǒjiàn dàn qīng shān.
Jūn ēn cì hǎi háowú bào,
Chūnyú rúgāo gǔ zì hán.
Wángdào dàng píng xiū wènxùn,
Míng jiāng běi shàng shì Chángān.
 
Translator: Liam Kelley 翻譯者

Notes:
Written as Nguyen Du set off on his long journey to the celestial throne in Peking.

From Liam Kelley's great book, Beyond The Bronze Pillars, Envoy Poetry and the Sino-Vietnamese Relationship, U of Hawaii Press.

 
 
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