Page:Kwaidan; Stories and Studies of Strange Things - Hearn - 1904.djvu/219

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Kité wa maü,
Futari shidzuka no
Kochō kana!

[Approaching they dance; but when the two meet at last they are very quiet, the butterflies!]

Chō wo oū

[Would that I might always have the heart (desire) of chasing butterflies![1]]

Besides these specimens of poetry about butterflies, I have one queer example to offer of Japanese prose literature on the same topic. The original, of which I have attempted only a free translation, can be found in the curious old book Mushi-Isamé (" Insect-Admonitions "); and it assumes the form of a discourse to a butterfly. But it is really a didactic allegory,—suggesting the moral significance of a social rise and fall:—

  1. Literally, " Butterfly-pursuing heart I wish to have always ; "—i. e., I would that I might always be able to find pleasure in simple things, like a happy child.