NIGHT HORSES OF BAC HA

The pack – horses whinny recklessly into the night wind
The echoes color the night of Bac Ha*

The horses beat their hooves against the road in the mild mountain air
The sound of horses breaks the night
Breaks the heart . . .

Horses!
One life to be driven along the worn road
Through the mountains over the pass
To come calmly down to Bac Ha on market day
You are used to the journey . . .

You keep going along the usual way
Mare . . . stallion . . . colt . . .
Going by turns and returning
One generation after the other.

Oh horses, I understand why your eyes are sadder than the color of the night in the North.
I hear the words of wind in mountains and forests and words of the forest moon
Urgent words of mountains and forests
Words of mountain and forest broken to pieces in those eyes.

Night horses whinny recklessly into the wind . . .

Ly Hoàng Ly

(Translated by Joseph Duemer)


*Bac Ha is a mountain area in North Vietnam famous for pack – horses of Hmong people