Page:Kwaidan; Stories and Studies of Strange Things - Hearn - 1904.djvu/150

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Without a moment's hesitation, she answered him in these verses:

" Izuru hi no
Honoméku iro wo
Waga sodé ni
Tsutsumaba asu mo
Kimiya tomaran."

[" If with my sleeve I hide the faint fair color of the dawning sun,—then, perhaps, in the morning my lord will remain."][1]

Then Tomotada knew that she accepted his admiration; and he was scarcely less surprised by the art with which she had uttered her feelings in verse, than delighted by the assurance which the verses conveyed. He was now certain that in all this world he could not hope to meet, much less to win, a girl more beautiful and witty than this rustic maid before

    phrases having a double meaning. But the art of its construction would need considerable space to explain, and could scarcely interest the Western reader. The meaning which Tomotada desired to convey might be thus expressed:—" While journeying to visit my mother, I met with a being lovely as a flower; and for the sake of that lovely person, I am passing the day here. … Fair one, wherefore that dawn-like blush before the hour of dawn?—can it mean that you love me? "

  1. Another reading is possible; but this one gives the signification of the answer intended.