A Hundred Verses from Old Japan (The Hyakunin-isshu), tr. by William N. Porter, , at sacred-texts.com
IT is a promise unfulfilled,
For which I humbly sue
The dainty little mugwort plant
Relies upon the dew,
And I rely—on you.
The writer lived early in the twelfth century, when the Court was given over to intrigue. Tadamichi Fujiwara, the Regent, had promised him a post of honour for his son, but had, year after year, failed to fulfil it. The verse is a gentle reminder, and the last couplet, which does not appear in the translation, delicately hints that the autumn of the present year also is slipping away. In the illustration we see Mototoshi addressing his petition to the Regent.