A Hundred Verses from Old Japan (The Hyakunin-isshu), tr. by William N. Porter, , at sacred-texts.com
THE village of my youth is gone,
New faces meet my gaze;
But still the blossoms at thy gate,
Whose perfume scents the ways,
Recall my childhood's days.
The writer of this verse, who lived A.D. 884-946, was a nobleman at Court, one of the greatest of the classical poets, and the first writer of Japanese prose. He was the chief compiler of the Kokinshiu, in which work he was assisted by the authors of verses Nos. 29, 30 and 33. This work consists of twenty volumes, containing some eleven hundred verses, and was completed in the year 922. It is related that Tsura-yuki once visited a friend after a long absence; and on being asked jestingly by the latter, how he could remember the way after such a long interval of time, the poet broke off a spray of blossoms from a plum tree growing at the entrance, and presented it to his friend with this impromptu verse.