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A Hundred Verses from Old Japan (The Hyakunin-isshu), tr. by William N. Porter, [1909], at

p. 75




  Chigiri okishi
Sasemo ga tsuyu wo
  Inochi nite
Aware kotoshi no
Aki mo inumeri.

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.

Next: 76. The Late Regent and Prime Minister, the Lay Priest of the Hōshō Temple: Hōshō-ji Nyūdō Saki no Kwambaku Daijōdaijin