Hakka Poem for Children

My mother remembered the beginning of a poem from her childhood, which went: "nget6 gong1 gong1, siu4 toi2 long2, ki2 pak6 ma1, go4 len1 tdong2..." meaning, "By the moonlight, the scholar went, upon a horse, past the lotus pond..." On Saturday 21st February 1998, I requested help from the Hakka Forum about a poem for children, I had a good response from Margery Yeung.


Dear Marjery, 



Thank you and your parents so much for sending the poems. I realise now

that I was wrong to call them three syllable poems when they definitely

have a seven syllable verse too. By the way, I had no problems with the

words.



Of the examples you give, its number one that I have heard, though in the

version I heard, there was definitely something about 蓮塘面 lian tong mian

(on the surface of the lotus pond...) 



'giu' is the character for "chives" which should be be 韭 with the grass

radical  on top, though both are the same word it seems. The "lau"

syllable is given by Hashimoto as "lo" meaning old, hence I've done the

same here, and that means that the tone has changed from from tone 2 to

tone 4, i.e.,  lau4 hai3 for crab. 



The sound 'dut dut' doesn't seem to have a suitable Big5 equivalent, so

I've come up with 咄咄 which reads "dut dut" in Cantonese



The sound 'dung' is like that for a wood beam 棟, so I've used it here.



I've taken the ZhuYin character 'e' ㄜ for the Hakka, so it looks neater.



The sound 'kia' in Meixian seems to be 'gia' in HK Hakka. i.e. ngan3 gia1

gia1 meaning "staring opened eyed (in disbelief/distrust)"



月光光, ngiat guong guong : The moon shines brightly

秀才娘, siu coi liong : The poet travels

騎白馬, kia pak ma : Riding a white horse

過蓮塘, guo lian tong : Past the lotus pond



蓮塘背, lian tong boi : Behind the lotus pond

種韭菜, jiung giu coi : Are planted chives

韭菜花, giu coi fa : The chives will be used

結親家, giat cin ga : To marry and get in-laws

 

親家門口一口塘, cin ga mun khiu yit khiu tong 

: At the front of the in-laws house is a pond

放的鯉嘛八尺長, fong det li ma bat cak cong

: Catch a carp that could be eight feet long



長ㄜ拿來交酒食, cong e na loi gau jiu sit

: If its long then barter it for wine to drink

短ㄜ拿來交姑娘, don e na loi gau gu ngiong

: if its short then barter it for a young maiden



交ㄜ姑娘矮咄咄, gau e gu ngiong ai dut dut

: if the maidens shortly built

朝朝起來打屎崛. zau zau hi loi da si fut

: Every morning when she rises, she get spanked!

------------------

月光光, ngiat guong guong : The moon shines brightly

四四方, xi xi fong : All round and even 

船來等, son loi den : The boat comes to dock

叫來扛, giao loi gong : Calling; All Aboard!



一扛扛到河棟心, yit gong gong dau ho tung sim

: When boarded it embarks to the middle of the river

蝦蚣老蟹拜觀音, ha gung lau hai bai guon yim

: the shrimps and crabs are worshipping Gon Yim 

觀音腳下一條線, guon yi, giok ha yit tiau sen

: At Gon Yim's feet is a string

拿分阿妹做鞋帶. na fun a moi zo hai dai

: The young girl take it for a shoelace.



-----------------



月光光, ngiat guong guong : The moon shines brightly

四四方, xi xi fong : All round and even

船來等, son loi den : The boat has docked

叫來扛, gieu loi gong : Calling; All Aboard!

一扛扛到河棟心, yit guong guong dau jo tung sim

: When boarded it embarks to the middle of the river

蝦蚣老蟹拜觀音, ha gung lau hai bai gon yim

: the shrimps and crabs are worshipping Gon Yim 

觀音腳下一條蛇, gon yim giok ha yit tiau sa

: At Gon Yim's feet is a snake

嚇到細妹眼迦迦 hak da se moi ngian gia gia

: frightening the young girl until her eyes bulged out!





Thanx again Marjery,



Dylan.