|There on the shore, the salt burners' fires await
Will their smoke be as the smoke over Toribe Moor?
|Farther retreats the day when we bade her goodbye,
For now you depart the skies that received the smoke.
|I now must go into exile In this mirror
An image of me will yet remain beside you.
|If when we part an image yet remains,
Then will I find some comfort in my sorrow.
|Narrow these sleeves, now lodging for the
Would they might keep a light which I do not tire of.
|The moon will shine upon this house once more.
Do not look at the clouds which now conceal it:
|Snagged upon the shoals of this river of tears,
I cannot see you. Deeper waters await me.
|The foam on the river of tears will disappear
Short of the shoals of meeting that wait downstream.
|The one whom I served is gone, the other must go.
Farewell to the world was no farewell to its sorrows.
|The worst of grief for him should long have
And now I must leave the world where dwells the child.
|There was heartvine in our caps. I led your horse.
And now at this jeweled fence I berate the gods.
|I leave this world of gloom. I leave my name
To the offices of the god who rectifies.
|And how does he look upon me? I raise my eyes.
And the moon now vanishes behind the clouds.
|When shall I, a ragged, rustic outcast,
See again the blossoms of the city?
|Quickly the blossoms fall. Though spring departs,
You will come again. I know, to a city of flowers.
|At least for this life we might make our vows, we
And so we vowed that nothing would ever part us.
|I would give a life for which I have no regrets
If it might postpone for a little the time of parting.
|More remote I fear, my place of exile
Than storied ones in lands beyond the seas.
|Mountain mists cut off that ancient village.
Is the sky I see the sky that shelters it?
|Briny our sleeves on the Suma strand; and yours
In the fisher cots of thatch at Matsushima?
|At Suma unchastened, one longs for the deep-lying
And she, the fisher lady burning salt?
|The nun of Matsushima burns the brine
And fuels the fires with the logs of her lamenting,
|The fisherwife burns salt and hides her fires
And strangles, for the smoke has no escape.
|Taking brine on that strand, let him compare
His dripping sleeves with these night sleeves of mine.
|Imagine, at Suma of the dripping brine,
The woman of Ise, gathering briny sea grass.
|The tide recedes along the coast of Ise.
No hope, no promise in the empty shells.
|With the lady of Ise I might have ridden small
That row the waves, and avoided dark sea tangles.
|How long, dripping brine on driftwood logs,
On logs of lament, must I gaze at this Suma coast?
|Ferns of remembrance weigh cur eaves ever more,
And heavily falls the dew upon our sleeves.
|The waves on the strand, like moans of helpless
The winds―like messengers from those who grieve?
|Might they be companions of those I long for?
Their cries ring sadly through the sky of their journey.
|I know not why they bring these thoughts of old,
These wandering geese. They were not then my comrades.
|No colleagues of mine, these geese beyond the
They chose to leave their homes, and I did not.
|Sad are their cries as they wing their way from
They still find solace, for they still have comrades.
|So long as I look upon it I find comfort,
The moon which comes again to the distant city.
|Not bitter thoughts alone does this singlet bring.
Its sleeves are damp with tears of affection too.
|Now taut, now slack, like my unruly heart,
The tow rope is suddenly still at the sound of a koto.
|Why, if indeed your heart is like the tow rope,
Unheeding must you pass this strand of Suma?
|Over and over the rural ones light fires.
Not so unflagging the urban ones with their visits.
|All aimless is my journey through the clouds.
It shames me that the unswerving moon should see me.
|.Cries of plovers in the dawn bring comfort
To one who awakens in a lonely bed.
|Fond thoughts I have of the noble ones on high,
And the day of the flowered caps has come again.
|In what spring tide will I see again my old
I envy the geese, returning whence they came
|Sad are the geese to leave their winter's lodging.
Dark my way of return to the flowery city.
|Look down upon me, cranes who skim the clouds,
And see me unsullied as this cloudless day.
|Lonely the voice of the crane among the clouds.
Gone the comrade that once flew at its side.
|Cast away to drift on an alien vastness,
I grieve for more than a doll cast out to sea.
|You eight hundred myriad gods must surely help me,
For well you know that blameless I stand before you.