|What do they work, the sea winds down at Suma?
At home, my sleeves are assaulted by wave after wave.
|Without the staying hand of the king of the sea
The roar of the eight hundred waves would have taken us under.
|Yet farther away, upon the beach at Akashi,
My thoughts of a distant city, and of you.
|Awaji in the moonlight, like distant foam:
From these cloudly sovereign heights it seems so near.
|Do you too know the sadness of the nights
On the shore of Akashi with only thoughts for companions?
|The traveler passes fretful nights at Akashi.
The grass which he reaps for his pillow reaps no dreams.
|Do I catch, as I gaze into unresponsive skies,
A glimpse of a grove of which I have had certain tidings?
|She gazes into the skies into which you gaze.
May they bring your thoughts and hers into some accord.
|Unwillingly reticent about my sorrows
I still must be―for no one makes inquiry.
|Unwillingly reticent―how can it be so?
How can you sorrow for someone you have not met?
|Race on through the moonlit sky. O roan-colored
And let me be briefly with her for whom I long.
|Would there were someone with whom I might share
And so dispel some part of these sad dreams.
|You speak to one for whom the night has no end.
How can she tell the dreaming from the waking?
|It was but the fisherman's brush with the salty
Followed by a tide of tears of longing.
|Naive of me, perhaps; yet we did make our vows.
And now see the waves that wash the Mountain of Waiting!
|Even though we now must part for a time,
The smoke from these briny fires will follow me.
|Smoldering thoughts like the sea grass burned on
And what good now to ask for anything more?
|One heedless word, one koto, to set me at rest.
In the sound of it the sound of my weeping, forever.
|Do not change the middle string* of this koto,
Unchanging I shall be till we meet again.
|Sad the retreating waves at leaving this shore.
Sad I am for you, remaining after.
|You leave, my reed-roofed hut will fall to ruin.
Would that I might go out with these waves.
|I made it for you, but the surging brine has wet
And might you find it unpleasant and cast it off?
|Take it. this middle robe, let it be the symbol
Of days uncounted but few between now and then.
|Though weary of life, seasoned by salty winds,
I am not able to leave this shore behind,
|I wept upon leaving the city in the spring.
I weep in the autumn on leaving this home by the sea.
|Cast out upon the sea. I passed the years
As useless as the leech child of the gods.
|The leech child's parents met beyond the pillar.
We meet again to forget the spring of parting.
|I wonder, do the morning mists yet rise,
There at Akashi of the lonely nights?
|There once came tidings from a boat at Suma,
From one who now might show You sodden sleeves.
|It is I, not you, from whom the complaints should
My sleeves have refused to dry since last you wrote.