Kiều’s Story (EPISODE I) #LovingLiterary

Let’s open the scented book under the lamp,

An old love saga transmitted in history.

That in the Chia-Ching[1] reign of Ming dynasty,

10. All was in peace and two capitals[2] stable.

There once lived a man of the Vuong family,

A middle-class bourgeois of that society.

His only son and last-born child was Quan Vuong,

Who he hoped would maintain his line of scholar.

15. His first births were two magnificent daughters,

Of them Thuy Kieu elder and Thuy Van younger.

Both with apricot bodies and snow spirits,

Each had their unique style and perfect beauty.

Van looked gentle with a decent elegance,

20. Her face a full moon, her eyebrows two long arcs;

Her smile a flower and her voice sounds of jade,

Clouds yielded her hair and snow ceded her skin.

Kieu was even more attractive and charming,

Surpassing her sister in skill and beauty.

25. Eyes purer than fall lake, brows bolder than spring hill,

Flowers grudged her fresh and willows craved her green.

Her glances would make a king bequeath his throne,

Her skill, like her beauty, was second to none.

Endowed with an inherent intelligence,

30. She excelled in poetry, chanting, and painting.

Well versed in pitches and fine tones of music,

She was peerless with her skill of lute playing.

She herself composed the song for her singing,

A heart-tearing lyric of woman’s sufferings.

35. As refined and noble as the sisters were,

And though they’d reached the age of nubility,

They did stay at home behind drapes and curtains,

Without care of flirting butterflies and bees.

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