Page:Kwaidan; Stories and Studies of Strange Things - Hearn - 1904.djvu/217

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Owarété mo,
Isoganu furi no
Chōcho kana!

[Ah, the butterfly! Even when chased, it never has the air of being in a hurry.]

Chō wa mina
Jiu-shichi-hachi no
Sugata kana!

[As for butterflies, they all have the appearance of being about seventeen or eighteen years old.[1]]

Chō tobu ya—
Kono yo no urami
Naki yō ni!

[How the butterfly sports,just as if there were no enmity (or " envy ") in this world!]

Chō tobu ya,
Kono yo ni nozomi
Nai yō ni!

[Ah, the butterfly!it sports about as if it had nothing more to desire in this present state of existence.]

  1. That is to say, the grace of their motion makes one think of the grace of young girls, daintily costumed, in robes with long fluttering sleeves. … An old Japanese proverb declares that even a devil is pretty at eighteen: Oni mo jiukachi azami no hana: " Even a devil at eighteen, flower-of-the-thistle."

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