A Hundred Verses from Old Japan (The Hyakunin-isshu), tr. by William N. Porter, , at sacred-texts.com
ALL red with leaves Tatsuta's stream
So softly purls along,
The everlasting Gods themselves,
Who judge 'twixt right and wrong,
Ne'er heard so sweet a song.
The writer, who lived A.D. 825-880, was the grandson of the Emperor Saga, and was the Don Juan of Old Japan; he was banished because of an intrigue he had with the Empress, and his adventures are fully related in the Ise-Monogatari. The Tatsuta stream is not far from Nara, and is famous for its maples in autumn. Chi haya furu, literally 'thousand quick brandishing (swords)', is a 'pillow-word', or recognized epithet, for the Gods, and almost corresponds to Virgil's Pious Æneas, and Homer's 'Odysseus, the son of Zeus, Odysseus of many devices'. It may be noted that these 'pillow-words' only occur in the five-syllable lines, never in the longer lines.
In the picture we see the poet looking at a screen, on which is depicted the river with the red maple leaves floating on it.