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The Master-Singers of Japan, by Clara A. Walsh, [1914], at

p. 20


I see the jewels sparkle on each spray
Of wind-swept moon-grass, as the reed-stems sway,
I try to clasp them—and they fade away
In ice-cold dew.

Against the turquoise of the April skies,
Pink haze of blossom o’er the landscape lies,
I try to pluck it—and its beauty dies,
The petals fall.

I hear a music thrilling time and space,
Heart-songs of Poets of a hero race
I try to sing them—and their dainty grace
Eludes me still!

p. 21


(From the "Manyōshiu")

By the Mikado Jomei—A.D. 623–41

Land of Yamato! of thy myriad hills,
Peerless and fair stands forth this Heavenly mount
Of high Amenokagu, from whose height,
Climbing its lofty brow, I stand and gaze
On the far-stretched champaign, whence faint blue smoke
Curls from a thousand dwellings, to the skies—
On the sea-plain, always the circling gulls
Rise flight on flight, and hover in the blue;
"Land of the Dragon-fly!" O Land to love!
Of rich abundance, and of fertile grain!


A.D. 673–86

(From the "Manyôshiu")

Lo! on Mikané's heights,
   In fair Yoshino's Land, p. 22
Tireless the snow alights
   On winding mountain ways;
There the fierce-driven rain
   Ever its rage displays.
So, just as, ceaselessly,
   Snow and rain fall,
Dwell all my thoughts on thee,
   Loved above all!


(From the "Manyôshiu")

By Princess Nukata—A.D. 673–76

Now cometh Spring, all lightsomeness,
  From the ice-chains of Winter free,
And birds, whose songs erstwhile were mute,
  Flood all the woods with melody.

The glades where late no blossom showed,
  Hills that were bare, are decked with flowers,
But, in the tangle of the woods,
  I can scarce reach the songsters’ bowers.

Matted and thick with twining growths,
  Out of my reach the sweet buds blow,
While in the Autumn, undeterred,
  I thread the copse, where red sprays glow. p. 23

Thrusting the duller browns aside,
  Choosing the tints with flame alight,
Give me the Autumn hills that bring
  Deep breaths of pleasure and delight!

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