The Master-Singers of Japan, by Clara A. Walsh, , at sacred-texts.com
Butterfly, butterfly! light upon the Na-leaf, pray!
Or if Na-leaf tempt you not,
On my hand alight and sway:
Hand and Na-leaf both are nigh—
Light upon one, butterfly!
Put out your horns for a little, snail!
The rain falls soft, and the wind blows warm,
And rustles the leaves of the bamboo grass.
Put out your horns, ere the showers pass,
For the rain falls soft, and the wind blows warm!
To West and East
The Land is full of foes!
To North and South
The foeman's standard blows,
And countless as the pebbles on the sand,
From south of Tsukushi,
And Satsuma's wild strand,
Still gather foes!
Into the void
Of pathless space may fall
High Heaven itself—
The solid mountain's wall
Melt in the torrents.
Yet one thing is sure,
The Imperial Realm
Unshaken shall endure
Firm above all!
(From the "Isé Monogatari," about 901–922)
Moon! it is gone, with all its charm sublime;
Spring I nay, the Spring of "Once upon a time"
Comes nevermore with blossoms in its train;
All else is changed—but I unchanged remain!
The croaking frogs that find their lodging here,
Would seem to feel the loneness of the night,
As well as I, so plaintive is their cry!
A thousand times I gaze upon thy form,
A thousand times—and each more wonderful!
Swift, with the drifting clouds, tumultuous storm,
The driving winds—so dost thou smile or frown—
Yet always beauteous, whether storm or shine,
O magic Mountain! Fuji the Divine
By Tahira no Kanemori
The goddess of the Spring has spread
Upon the budding willow-tree
Her lovely mesh of silken strands:
O wind of Spring, blow lovingly
And gently, lest the willow thread
(From the Kokinshiu")
By Kujohara no Fukayabu
Midwinter gloom the earth enshrouds,
Yet from the skies
The blossoms fall
A flutt’ring shower,
White petals all!
Can Spring be come
So soon beyond the clouds?
(From the "Kokinshiu")
By Sakanohe no Korenori
In Yoshino at dawn meseemed
Around me paling moonlight gleamed,
But ’twas new-fallen snow that lay
Cold-shining in the light of day.
By Biwa Sadaijin
Once more the garden that I loved I seek,
Where once the footsteps of my dear ones trod,
Now all deserted, desolate and bleak.
The brown leaf flutters to the frosted sod.
Only the maple-foliage as of old
Weaves its embroidery of red and gold!
All round the year, with careful pride,
My court-yard here is neatly kept,
Save at sweet cherry-blossom tide,
When ’tis untrodden and upswept.
White scented petals softly blow,
And, downward fluttering, create
A perfumed carpeting of snow,
Nor foot nor hand must desecrate.
By Harumichi no Tsuraki
One speaks of yesterday,
Lives through to-day, p. 77
And on the morrow
Like Asu's river,
Ceaselessly and fast,
The fleeting months and days
Are with the past.
By Fujiwara Kiyomasa
The varied grasses of the Autumn meads
Are gemmed with dewdrops, as with pure white beads,
Yet all unthreaded. As the grasses sway,
So, one by one, the dew-pearls slip away
And vanish from the radiance of the day!
Whence come these colours of the grass
That glorify the Autumn field?
The dew that glistens where I pass
One hue alone methought could yield,
Its crystal orbs no dyes can hold,
Yet the leaves change to red and gold!
My humble dwelling, creeper-clad,
So lonely lies,
That day by day none visit me
Save the fire-flies!
Evanescent as dew their existence,
These warriors of long-vanished ages;
Of all their fierce contests and striving,
Lo! the end is the Autumn wind sighing
Its dirge o’er the waste place of battle!
I look upon the harvest moon to-night,
She lifts my soul upon her silver rays;
My thoughts are tangled in a web of light
With vague reflections in a thousand ways.
Dreaming they wander in a world unknown,
Though Autumn's witchery is not mine alone!
The Autumn wind tightening its plaintive strings,
Plays a weird nocturne, that sad thought inspires.
And every gust new desolation brings
To my lone heart, a thrill of vain desires.
Call not the frosted branches of the trees,
This winter morn, all desolate and bare!
While the snow lies unmelted upon these,
I think I see the white Spring-blossom there!
Would that this hail might shower, a sparkling stream,
All the grey day, until the moon arise,
And shine upon this court, which then would gleam
As though a rich-gemmed pavement dazed our eyes—
White, glittering jewels, fresh from Paradise!