Page:Kwaidan; Stories and Studies of Strange Things - Hearn - 1904.djvu/215

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Kago no tori
Chō wo urayamu
Metsuki kana!

[Ah, the sad expression in the eyes of that caged bird!envying the butterfly!]

Chō tondé—
Kazé naki hi to mo
Miëzari ki!

[Even though it did not appear to be a windy day,[1] the fluttering of the butterflies——!]

Rakkwa éda ni
Kaëru to miréba
Kochō kana!

[When I saw the fallen flower return to the branchlo! it was only a butterfly![2]]

  1. Literally, " a windless day ; " but two negatives in Japanese poetry do not necessarily imply an affirmative, as in English. The meaning is, that although there is no wind, the fluttering motion of the butterflies suggests, to the eyes at least, that a strong breeze is playing.
  2. Alluding to the Buddhist proverb : Rakkwa éda ni kaërazu; ha-kyō futatabi terasazu (" The fall n flower returns not to the branch; the broken mirror never again reflects.") So says the proverb—yet it seemed to me that I saw a fallen flower return to the branch. … No: it was only a butterfly.