HỒ XUÂN HƯƠNG TRADITION - [“As a concubine, I get nothing”]
As a concubine, I get nothing. Although
As endowed as the mistress, I’m laid aside.
Each night she claims the bedroom, giving me
A straw mat, to lie alone in the outer room.
At dawn she yells, "Hey, servant, get up!”
I wake to slice sweet potatoes, chop water fern.
It’s all because my parents are poor.
That’s why I must slice potatoes, chop water fern.