Page:Kwaidan; Stories and Studies of Strange Things - Hearn - 1904.djvu/156

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those twenty-eight characters he was able to express all the depth of his passion, and to suggest all the pain of his loss:[1]

Kōshi ō-son gojin wo ou;
Ryokuju namida wo tarété rakin wo hitataru;
Komon hitotabi irité fukaki koto umi no gotoshi;
Koré yori shorō koré rojin.

[Closely, closely the youthful prince now follows after the gem-bright maid;—
The tears of the fair one, falling, have moistened all her robes.
But the august lord, having once become enamored of her—the depth of his longing is like the depth of the sea.
Therefore it is only I that am left forlorn,—only I that am left to wander alone.]

On the evening of the day after this poem had been sent, Tomotada was summoned to appear before the Lord Hosokawa. The youth at once suspected that his confidence had been betrayed; and he could not hope, if his letter had been seen by the daimyō, to escape the severest penalty. " Now he will order my death," thought Tomotada;—" but I do not

  1. So the Japanese story-teller would have us believe,—although the verses seem commonplace in translation. I have tried to give only their general meaning: an effective literal translation would require some scholarship.
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