A Hundred Verses from Old Japan (The Hyakunin-isshu), tr. by William N. Porter, , at sacred-texts.com
O’ERCOME with pity for this world,
My tears obscure my sight;
I wonder, can it be the moon
Whose melancholy light
Has saddened me to-night?
Saigyō was a member of the Fujiwara family, an eccentric monk, and a famous poet, who lived A.D. 1115-1188. He was once in attendance on the Emperor, when a bird by fluttering its wings began scattering the blossoms of a plum tree. The Emperor directed him to drive off the bird, but the priest, with an excess of zeal, killed it by a stroke of his fan. On reaching home his wife told him that she had dreamt that she was changed into a bird and that he had struck her; and this incident made such an impression upon him, that he retired from Court, and spent the rest of his life in the church.