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

p. 100




  Momoshiki ya
Furuki nokiba no
  Shinobu ni mo
Nao amari aru
Mukashi nari keri.

MY ancient Palace I regret,
  Though rot attacks the eaves,
And o'er the roof the creeping vine
  Spreads out and interweaves
  Unpruned its straggling leaves.

This writer was the third son of the Emperor Gotoba, author of the previous verse (99); he reigned A.D. 1211-1221, and was deposed like his father, and banished to the Island of Sado. It was during his reign that the first Japanese warships were built by Sanetomo, the writer of verse No. 93, who headed a rebellion against the Emperor.

Shinobu means 'a creeping vine ', but it is also the verb 'to long for '; and the verse suggests that the Emperor, while mourning over the decay of the Imperial power, still longs for the o d Palace, neglected and grown over with creepers as it is.

And so the Collection ends, as it began, with two verses by Imperial poets.

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