MYS XX: 4408

A poem expressing the feelings of a frontier guard on parting from his loved ones, with tanka.

大君の 任けのまにまに 島守に 我が立ち來れば ははそ葉の 母の命は み裳の裾 摘み上げ掻き撫で ちちの實の 父の命は 栲づのの 白髭の上ゆ 涙垂り 嘆きのたばく 鹿子じもの ただ獨りして 朝戸出の 愛しき我が子 あらたまの 年の緖長く 相見ずは 戀しくあるべし 今日だにも 言問ひせむと 惜しみつつ 悲しびませば 若草の 妻も子どもも をちこちに さはに圍み居 春鳥の 聲のさまよひ 白栲の 袖泣き濡らし たづさはり 別れかてにと 引き留め 慕ひしものを 大君の 命畏み 玉桙の 道に出で立ち 岡の崎 い廻むるごとに 萬たび かへり見しつつ はろはろに 別れし來れば 思ふそら 安くもあらず 戀ふるそら 苦しきものを うつせみの 世の人なれば たまきはる 命も知らず 海原の 畏き道を 島傳ひ い漕ぎ渡りて あり廻り 我が來るまでに 平けく 親はいまさね つつみなく 妻は待たせと 住吉の 我が統め神に 幣奉り 祈り申して 難波津に 船を浮け据ゑ 八十楫貫き 水手ととのへて 朝開き 我は漕ぎ出ぬと 家に告げこそ

opokimi nö
make nö manimani
simamori ni
wa ga tatikureba
papasoba nö
papa nö mikötö pa
mimo nö suso
tumiagekakinade
titi nö mï nö
titi nö mikötö pa
takuduna nö
sirapigë nö upë yu
namida tari
nagëki nötabaku
kakozimo nö
tada pitöri site
asa to de nö
kanasiki wa ga ko
aratama nö
tösi nö wo nagaku
apimizu pa
kopïsiku arubësi
kepu dani mo
kötö topisemu tö
wosimitutu
kanasibimaseba
wakakusa nö
tuma mo kodömo mo
wotiköti ni
sapa ni kakumiwi
paru töri nö
kowe nö samayopi
sirotapë nö
sode naki nurasi
tadusapari
wakare kate ni tö
pikitödöme
sitapisi monö wo
opokimi nö
mikötö kasikomi
tamapokö nö
miti ni idetati
woka nö saki
itamuru götö ni
yörödutabi
kaperimisitutu
paroparo ni
wakaresikureba
omopu sora
yasuku mo arazu
kopuru sora
kurusiki monö wo
utusemi nö
yö nö pitö nareba
tamakiparu
inöti mo sirazu
unapara nö
kasikoki miti wo
simadutapi
ikögiwatarite
ari meguri
wa ga kuru made ni
tapirakeku
oya pa imasane
tutuminaku
tuma pa matase tö
suminoe nö
a ga sume kamï ni
nusa maturi
inörimawosite
nanipa tu ni
pune wo ukesuwe
yaso ka nuki
kako tötönöpete
asa piraki
wa pa kögidenu tö
ipe ni tuge kösö
My great lord
Gave an order that
For an island guard
I should go; so
Trembling as an oak leaf,
My honoured mother
Her skirt hem
Grasped and brushed me down;
Ripe as berries on the tree,
My honoured father,
A rope of hemp,
His white beard,
With tears dripping,
Sadly said,
“Like a fawn,
You will be all alone,
On your morning leavetaking,
My sweet child.
A new jewel,
The year’s length stretches far,
And not seeing you,
How we will miss you.
If only for today,
Let me speak with you.”
Constantly regretting,
And filled with sadness,
So, as young grass,
My wife and children
Here and there
All sitting round,
As spring birds
They moaned;
White mulberry cloth
Sleeves wet with weeping,
They took my hands
Saying, “You can’t go!”
Trying to stop me leaving,
All my little loved ones:
Following my great lord’s
Awesome order:
On the jewelled spear straight
Road I set my foot;
Through the headlands of the hills
Passing,
A myriad times
Did I look homeward;
By distance far
From home parted so,
As long as I can feel
My pain will not be eased, and
As long as I do love
Will I feel sorrow;
Of this world
I am a man, so
The soul-ending
Life to come I do not know;
Over the wide sea’s sweep,
Following a fearful path
From island to island
I go rowing across,
Around and round;
“Until I return again,
Safely
Let my parents be;
Unplucked,
Let my wife await me,”
To Suminoe’s
Mighty god
,
I make an offering,
Speaking a prayer;
In the ferry port at Naniwa
Floats my boat,
Many oars arrayed,
Oarsmen at the ready
And with the dawn
I’ll go rowing out:
Tell them that at home!

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