Page:Kwaidan; Stories and Studies of Strange Things - Hearn - 1904.djvu/49

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shadow of the rushes of Akanuma—ah! what misery unspeakable!”][1]

And after having uttered these verses she exclaimed:—“Ah, you do not know—you cannot know what you have done! But to-morrow, when you go to Akanuma, you will see,—you will see. …” So saying, and weeping very piteously, she went away.

When Sonjō awoke in the morning, this dream remained so vivid in his mind that he was greatly troubled. He remembered the words:—“But to-morrow, when you go to Akanuma, you will see,—you will see.” And he resolved to go there at once, that he might learn whether his dream was anything more than a dream.

So he went to Akanuma; and there, when he came to the river-bank, he saw the female oshidori swimming alone. In the same moment the bird perceived Sonjō; but, instead of trying to escape, she swam straight towards

  1. There is a pathetic double meaning in the third verse; for the syllables composing the proper name Akanuma (“Red Marsh”) may also be read as akanu-ma, signifying “the time of our inseparable (or delightful) relation.” So the poem can also be thus rendered:—“When the day began to fail, I had invited him to accompany me. … ! Now, after the time of that happy relation, what misery for the one who must slumber alone in the shadow of the rushes!”—The makomo is a sort of large rush, used for making baskets.