Ise Shū 28

Her Majesty, the Empress, had such a limitlessly refined nature, that there was no one in the world who was her equal. Ise’s chamber had a most beautiful garden planted before them and, in autumn, when she had returned to her dwelling for a while, Her Majesty wrote, ‘Why have you not returned yet? It seems that you will be so late in coming that the pine crickets before your chamber will have ceased to sing and the flowers will, no doubt, be past their best.’ Ise replied:


matu musi mo
nakiyaminu naru
aki no no ni
tare yobu tote ka
Fanami ni mo komu
The pining crickets
Have ceased to sing
In the autumn fields;
Who calls from there, I wonder,
Will she come to view the flowers…

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