hito shirenu namida ya sora ni kumoritsutsu aki no shigure to furimasaruramu Unknown to all With tears the skies Are ever clouded; The autumn drizzle Seems to fall the harder.
aki kureba yama toyomu made naku shika ni ware otorame ya hitori nuru yo wa When the autumn comes The mountains echo with The belling stags; Will they lose to me These nights I sleep alone?
 This poem appears in Fubokushō (5546), where it is attributed to [Ariwara no] Motokata.
yamazato wa aki koso mono wa kanashikere nezame nezame ni shika wa nakitsutsu A mountain retreat in Autumn is much more Sad; Waking, ever waking To the stags constant cries…
koto no ne o kaze no shirabe ni makasete wa tatsustahime koso aki wa hikurashi A zither’s strains By the wind tuned Up— Princess Tatsuta Is plucking out the notes of autumn, it seems.
asagiri ni kata madowashite naku kari no koe zo taesenu aki no yamabe wa In the morning mists Having lost their way, Crying, the geese Call out ceaselessly From the autumn mountain meadows.
yamazato wa aki koso koto ni kanashikere shika no naku ne ni me o samashitsutsu In a mountain retreat The autumn, especially, Is lonely. The belling of the stags Continually awakens me.
 This poem also occurs in Kokinshū ( IV: 214), where it is attributed to [Mibu no] Tadamine.
A poem from the Poetry Contest at Prince Koresada’s house.
aki nareba yama toyomu made naku sika ni ware otorame ya Fitori nuru yo Fa When the autumn comes Until the very mountains resound Do bell the stags, but Are their cries any less than mine, Sleeping alone tonight…
ko no ha chiri shika naku aki no yamadera wa iriai no kane no oto zo sabishiki Leaves scattering from the trees, and Stags crying – in autumn At a mountain temple The sunset bell’s Toll is lonely, indeed!
Composed as a poem on deer.
yamazato no akatukigata no sika no ne Fa yoFa no aFare no kagiri narikeri In a mountain hut At the edge of dawn A deer’s cry makes Midnight’s misery All too clear…
kono koro no
kokoro no soko o
yoso ni miba
shika naku nobe no
aki no yūgure Of late
Of the depths of my heart
Were you to catch a distant glimpse:
A stag belling in the meadow
On an autumn evening…
A Servant Girl
susono no tsuyu ni
hito matsu sode mo
namida sou nari Twilight
Drapes dewfall on the mountains’ skirts,
With a stag’s sad cry;
Awaiting him, my sleeves, too,
Are wet with tears.
Left and Right together: we find no faults to mention.
In judgement: it would be impossible to ever exhaust the overtones of feeling in ‘a stag belling in the meadow on an autumn evening’ (
shika naku nobe no aki no yūgure) in the Left’s poem; in the Right’s poem the configuration and conception of ‘awaiting him, my sleeves, too, are wet with tears’ ( hito matsu sode mo namida sou nari) is richly evocative. I find it extremely hard to put both poems down, so this round, again, is a tie of quality.
Composed when there was much disturbance in the world.
sika no sikaramu
Fagi ga e no
suweba no tuyu no
arigata no yo ya Every morning
The stag is tangled in
Bush clover branches,
Dew upon the leaf-tips –
Such is the length of life…
sumu to ipu sika no
tumadopu pagi no
tiramaku wosimo Deep within the mountains
Lives a stag;
He calls upon his bride, the bush clover, but
That it is scattered, brings him only regret…