Page:Kwaidan; Stories and Studies of Strange Things - Hearn - 1904.djvu/149

This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.

gaze made her blush;—and he left the wine and food untasted before him. The mother said: " Kind Sir, we very much hope that you will try to eat and to drink a little,—though our peasant-fare is of the worst,—as you must have been chilled by that piercing wind." Then, to please the old folks, Tomotada ate and drank as he could; but the charm of the blushing girl still grew upon him. He talked with her, and found that her speech was sweet as her face. Brought up in the mountains she might have been;—but, in that case, her parents must at some time have been persons of high degree; for she spoke and moved like a damsel of rank. Suddenly he addressed her with a poem—which was also a question—inspired by the delight in his heart:—

" Tadzunétsuru,
Hana ka toté koso,
Hi wo kurasé,
Akénu ni otoru
Akané sasuran? "

[" Being on my way to pay a visit, I found that which I took to be a flower: therefore here I spend the day. … Why, in the time before dawn, the dawn-blush tint should glow—that, indeed, I know not.&quot][1]

  1. The poem may be read in two ways; several of the

125