On the conception of Love on a First Meeting.
|ima yori mo
kokoro nagasa o
tsuraki o dani mo
urami ya wa seshi
On your faithfulness
Will I rely!
Or your cruelty –
Will that be what I despise?
Senior Assistant Governor General of Dazai [Fujiwara no] Shige’ie
yogaruru toko no
kai ya nakaramu
|My cruelty was it that
Kept him from my bed these many nights;
Should I spread it and think of him alone,
Would that have no effect at all?
munashiki toko no
|Sick am I of love –
In an empty bed’s
How many nights, how many times,
Must I awake?
Both Left and Right together state: we find no faults to mention.
In judgement: both of the ‘blankets’ (samushiro) of the Left and Right here seem elegant. The configuration of the Left’s ‘my cruelty was it that kept him from my bed these many nights; my blanket’ (ukimi yue yogaruru toko no samushiro) and the conception of the Right’s ‘sick am I of love – in an empty bed’s’ (koiwabinu munashiki toko no) are such that I find both difficult to put down. I must make the round a tie.
hito no kokoro no
shibashi bakari to
|Upon Mogami River,
Her heart is as
That but for a little while
She will hear me, is all my longing.
fuchi se himanaki
yo no naka ni
hito no tsurasa zo
|On Asuka River
The deeps and shallows have no rest;
In this world of ours,
The Supernumerary Master of the Empress’ Household Office
The Right state: we have no criticisms to make of the Left’s poem. The Left state: we wonder about the Right’s use of ‘the deeps and shallows have no rest’ (fuchi se himanaki).
In judgement: ‘Mogami River’ appears to be technically accomplished, but the final section sounds excessive. The deeps and shallows of Asuka River, indeed, do change constantly. The final section, too, seems fine. Thus, the Right wins.