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นิติสารสาธก Nitisarn Saa-dhok

ศุภวุฒิ วาทบัณฑิตกุล แปล
Translated by Suphawut Wathabunditkul
กลอนสุภาพ - Glon Subharp
 

๏ อย่าเกียจคร้านการเรียนเร่งอุตส่าห์
มีวิชาเหมือนมีทรัพย์อยู่นับแสน
จะตกถิ่นฐานใดคงไม่แคลน
ถึงคับแค้นก็พอยังประทังตน๚
Don't be indolent; Be diligent with your study!
Embracing knowledge is like possessing such enormous wealth.
Wherever you happen to stray into, you'd still have something aplenty within you.
Though destitute, you would be able to remain self-sustaining.
   
๏ อันความรู้รู้กระจ่างแต่อย่างเดียว
แต่ให้เชี่ยวชาญเถิดจะเกิดผล
อาจจะชักเชิดชูฟูสกนธ์
ถึงคนจนพงศ์ไพร่คงได้ดี๚
  As for knowledge, just endeavor to specialize in only one particular field.
No matter what field, if you are an expert in it, it does pay.
It could help uplift you, making you nationally renowned.
Though born low, knowledge will surely better you and help you attain prominence in life.
   
๏ เกิดเป็นชายชาวสยามตามวิสัย
หนังสือไทยก็ไม่รู้ดูบัดสี
ต้องอับอายขายหน้าทั้งตาปี
ถึงผู้ดีก็คงด้อยถอยตระกูล๚
  To be born as a Siamese
But illiterate in the Thai language and literature is such a disgrace, even sheer ignominy!
That person must forever be chagrined by his/her own illiteracy.
Though born with a silver spoon in his/her mouth, he/she will end up living hand to mouth!
   
๏ จะต่ำเตี้ยเสียชื่อว่าโฉดช้า
จะชักพายศลาภให้สาบสูญ
ทั้งขายหน้าญาติวงศ์พงศ์ประยูร
จะเพิ่มพูนติฉินคำนินทา๚
  He/she will be belittled and bear the infamy of being a numbskull.
The illiteracy will not only efface his/her dignity, fame, and wealth,
But also humiliate him/her among all of his/her clans.
Social Gossips and public revilements will accrue to him/her.
   
๏ หนึ่งหนังสือหรือตำรับฉบับบท
เป็นของล้วนควรจดจำศึกษา
บิดาปู่สู้เสาะสะสมมา
หวังให้บุตรนัดดาได้ร่ำเรียน๚
  Incidentally, books, writs and treatises
Are all worth learning and perusing.
Your grandparents had painstakingly persevered in preserving, collecting and archiving them
In the hope that their grandchildren could use and study their works...
   
๏ จะได้ทราบบาปบุญทั้งคุณโทษ
ปะบุตรโฉดต่ำช้าก็พาเหียร
ไม่สมหวังดังบิดาปู่ตาเพียร
เป็นจำเนียรแพลงพลัดกระจัดกระจาย๚ะ๛
  That their children would be conscientious and equipped with conscience.
If their knowledge was by chance unfortunately handed down onto some bad seeds
(And that's what all the ancestors find repelling!),
Who could not live up to their expectations and standards,
With this persisting, the knowledge would be dispersed and would soon vanish.
   
Translation Notes: I saw some stanzas quoted from this poem being silk-screened on T-shirts and sold in Thailand. It was excerpted from a crucial old Thai textbook entitled "นิติสารสาธก" (Nitisarn-sadhok) written by พระยาศรีสุนทรโวหาร (น้อย อาจารยางกูร) [Phraya Srisunthornwoharn (Noi Ajarayangkura)]--one of Thailand's most prominent educators, cultural leaders, sages, and Thai language & literature scholars. This literary ace was so intellectually profound and magnificent Thais regarded him as the judge of the Thai language.

He wrote the poem using a type of Thai versification called กลอน. This didactic piece has been chosen and included in Thai elementary school textbooks for Pathom Three pupils (นักเรียนชั้นประถมปีที่ ๓). In the past, when we went to school, we would spend about 50 minutes to an hour each morning in our homeroom hours. Our teachers would have us recite the Multiplication Tables (สูตรคูณ) and those great poems (บทอาขยาน)--a clever trick that helps instill the love for math (not successful for me) and national literature (yes!!!) in us. Thus many of us knew poems like these by heart.

This poem really helps bring back to me those fond, nostalgic memories in the good old days. :-)

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Cogito, ergo sum.
Scribo, ergo sum.

แปลเป็นภาษาอังกฤษโดย ศุภวุฒิ วาทบัณฑิตกุล. สงวนลิขสิทธิ์.
• • • Rendered into English prose and copyrighted 2004 by Suphawut Wathabunditkul. All rights reserved. • • •
 

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