Friday, August 31, 2007

Okura: stray leaves

What care I for the seven treasures people prize?
I loved my child Furuhi better than them all.
He would insist upon my playing with him as
I woke in bed,
nor let me slumber when I went to my repose,
and begged to let him sleep between my wife and me.
With great anticipation I looked forward to his future,
but smitten with an ague, ill he lay.
I prayed the gods for his recovery,
yet every day he languished, fell unconscious,
dying at last.
With desperation I appeal to heaven and earth
for the departed jewel,
but only echoes come back for my cries.

On the death of Furuhi, by Yamanoeno Okura