MYS XX: 4398

A poem expressing the feelings of a guard upon the frontier, with tanka.

大君の 命畏み 妻別れ 悲しくはあれど 大夫の 心振り起し 取り裝ひ門出をすれば たらちねの 母掻き撫で 若草の 妻は取り付き 平らけく 我れは齋はむ ま幸くて 早歸り來と 眞袖もち 涙を拭ひ むせひつつ 言問ひすれば 群鳥の 出で立ちかてに とどこほり かへり見しつつ いや遠に 國を來離れ いや高に 山を越え過ぎ 葦が散る 難波に來居て 夕潮に 船を浮けすゑ 朝なぎに 舳向け漕がむと さもらふと 我が居る時に 春霞 島廻に立ちて 鶴が音の 悲しく鳴けば はろはろに 家を思ひ出 負ひ征矢の そよと鳴るまで 嘆きつるかも

opokimi nö
mikötö kasikomi
tuma wakare
kanasiku pa aredö
masurawo nö
kökörö puriokösi
toriyösöpi
kadode wo sureba
taratine nö
papa kakinade
wakakusa nö
tuma pa torituki
tapirakeku
ware pa ipapamu
masakikute
paya kaperiko tö
masode moti
namida wo nögöpi
musepitutu
katarapi sureba
muratöri nö
idetatikate ni
tödököpori
kaperimisitutu
iya töpo ni
kuni wo kipanare
iya taka ni
yama wo kowsugi
asi ga tiru
nanipa ni kiwite
yupu sipo ni
pune wo ukesuwe
asa nagi ni
pe muke kögamu tö
samorafu tö
wa ga woru töki ni
parugasumi
simamï ni tatite
tadu ga ne nö
kanasiku nakeba
paroparo ni
ipe wo omopide
opisöya nö
so yo tö naru made
nagëkituru ka mo
My great lord
Gave a dread command:
So I parted from my wife,
Though filled with sadness;
And with a strong man’s
Heart steeled myself –
That’s what I showed –
And when I left my gate,
O’er flowing with love,
My mother stroked my hair;
And, as young grass,
My wife held me close;
“For you to be in peace,
Will I pray,
And safely,
Quickly return to me,” she said,
Her sleeves
Wiping away her tears;
Swallowing sobs
As she spoke;
So, like a flock of birds,
I could not leave
And did delay –
Always looking back –
Oh, how far
Behind have I left my land;
Oh, how high
The mountains I have passed;
Scattered with reeds
To Naniwa I come, where
On the evening tide
Floats my ship;
Where in the morning calm
We will turn out the prow and row;
Waiting quietly,
While I am here,
The spring haze
Around the islands rises and
The calls of the cranes
Sound sadly;
When my distant
Home I recall,
My bow case
Rustling on my back,
How I do grieve

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