Ise Shū 7

When she had been in Yamato for about three months, she went to a temple called Ryûmon. This was around the eleventh day of the First Month. The site of the temple was such that it seemed the waterfall from amongst the clouds. The places the holy men called home were ancient in the extreme: perched atop the crags with the moss hanging in eightfold beards from them. Struck by completely unfamiliar emotions, she found the place moving in the extreme, and the tears she shed put the waterfall to shame. She had stopped for a moment upon the bridge when it suddenly turned extremely dark. ‘Is it going to rain?’ asked one of her companions. ‘It’s snow that will fall,’ replied the monks and, at that moment, the sky turned murky with an enormous snowfall; the party said to each other, ‘Shall we compose poems?’, so Ise composed:

裁ち縫はぬ衣きし人もなき物をなに山姫の布さらすらむ

tatinuFanu
kinu kisi Fito mo
naki mono wo
nani yama Fime no
nuno sarasuramu
Uncut and unsewn
Were the clothes those folk wore;
Gone now,
So why should the mountain’s princess
Bleach her cloth?

Ise
伊勢

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