Farewell ! O, Little Thu Cuc !


Poetic English version of a poem in Vietnamese by Tran Trung Dao

This evening, the Little Bird ceases to sing for ever
The Refugee Camp in the last sun rays looks sadder
Your eyelids suddenly closes, leaving life behind
In the direction of Vietnam, your soul. does fly

You return home as a ghost from a foreign country
The old school gate is wet with perspiration, aplenty
Like tears of dolor that fill up the past time
Where is the dream garden of yore? O, flowers and butterflies!

When trying to hang yourself with the rope of demise,
About Motherland’s future, what did you have in mind ?
We do have to suffer from misfortune and misery,
And I don’t blame you for letting hope end so suddenly.

Hung on the Saint C ross is the word LIBERTY
Prayers do not have enough power to dissipate obscurity
When man pointed a gun, you were seized with fright
The bullet hit you, the Little Bird, and caused demise!

On your grave, there, a yellow leaf is slowly landing
O, Little Sister! Is autumn already returning ?
I suddenly feel depression totally invade me
But, always intense, my love for you will be !

We grew up with so many losses that made us suffer
Our youth was crisscrossed with bullets and bomb craters
Now Motherland is immersed in heavy tears of dolor
Hatred and revenge really weight heavily on our shoulders .

Adieu! O, girl of Hue, now a city of no light
Go to sleep ! Please, do not bear hatred against life
I am standing with pangs in my heart and mind
May the blood you shed be cleaned by these lines !

Original version in Vietnamese


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