In judgement: the Left’s poem, with ‘all unknowing of my feelings comes a bell cricket’s cry’ (kokoro mo shiranu matsumushi no koe) is fine. The Right, with ‘is all seeming done, as autumn does wear on’ (aki no keshiki ya fukenuran), is too, so both Left and Right do truly move the heart, do they not? I have no way of distinguishing superior from inferior here, so thus must make the round a tie.
The Gentlemen of the Right state: we have no reason to mention any faults in the Left’s poem. The Gentlemen of the Left state: the Right’s poem is pedestrian.
In judgement: both poems refer to ‘bell crickets’, with the Left saying, ‘our bond, no doubt, become’ (naka koso arame), then ‘call is all that I would ask’ (koe o dani toe), and ‘eagerly awaiting, the bell cricket’ (shita matsumushi) – all of these are extremely difficult to grasp, however, the Right’s poem is pointlessly pedestrian. So, the Left wins.
Her Majesty, the Empress, had such a limitlessly refined nature, that there was no one in the world who was her equal. Ise’s chamber had a most beautiful garden planted before them and, in autumn, when she had returned to her dwelling for a while, Her Majesty wrote, ‘Why have you not returned yet? It seems that you will be so late in coming that the pine crickets before your chamber will have ceased to sing and the flowers will, no doubt, be past their best.’ Ise replied:
matu musi mo
aki no no ni
tare yobu tote ka
Fanami ni mo komu
The pining crickets
Have ceased to sing
In the autumn fields;
Who calls from there, I wonder,
Will she come to view the flowers…