Vietnamese Poetry: Mother, I Want A Husband


Mother, I Want A Husband!

Scholar: Le Quy Don (1726 -1784)
“Mother, I tell you, just between us, I cannot tell why but longing, passionate longing has gripped me.
‘Certainly to get married is the normal wish of every young girl, but too long for it like this and say to her mother: Longing has seized me, and burns me up!
“You mean you long for that already and you’ve hardly reached the age.

“She opened her heart to her mother in these words:
’The union of the female and male principles has always ruled the universe. To establish a home is the common lot of mortals.

“Having once set foot in this fleeting world, how many people keep their virginity for life?
“So many times, all alone, I think about my fate.

’Mother, can you share my most intimate feelings?
’At my age I’m still alone, always alone. If by bad luck I miss the chance, Mama, what will become of me?

’Verdant spring passes quickly: I think man is like a bam-boo shoot, aging rapidly. One should marry in good time, uniting a beautiful paragon pair in the flash of happiness.

’I fear the red threads of my marriage might not be tied and that I might float like a boat whose planks have come apart.
’Spring passes never to come again, the boat capsized in the mist of rains and lightning, the leafless apricot trees show their sadness.

“Mother, can you see how all bewildered I am by it?’