Chon Chkhol (Korea, 16 th. century)
Translated by V. Homenyuk.

Harmonies of Silence


I’ve touched the comungo one tender string
With a little stick of flexible tamboo –
And sound’s flowed as a vernal stream,
Which under ice at a sprit purls all the time.
And it’s got heard: as echo to the tune
The rain was dribbling over lotus leaves.


All rainy day a heavy autumn storm
Against the lotus leaves was lashing, beating.
But it has left no sign.
They’re clean and chaste.
And thee, be so pure, my poor sole
As lotus leaves so wide… so wise.


From a haughty tower that’s soaring hitherto
Above eight centuries, above their glory,
Remote tones of a silver bell
Touch my secluded arbour at a steep
Resound over peaceful quiet fields
In unison with silence of the night.


It’s snowing – white and cold flowers
Are blooming on the fluffy pine-trees branches.
I’ll take the gorgeous one
To gift my sweetheart.
Let her admire them an instant –
And after that they’ll thaw forever.

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