Wednesday, 20 February 2008

浮船 Ukifune 1

Without expressing
My anguish,
Eventually I threw myself
Into the Uji River in Yamashiro.
Yet I could not sink deep enough,
And I do not know
Where I will drift to.
How lamentable is my fate!

In a tiny boat
Carrying brush and wattles,
I travel this miserable world.
When I look at the water dripping
From the end of the boatman's oar,
My thoughts turn to the past,
And my sleeves become soaked
With tears.

Song composed for koto by Mitsuhashi Kengyo (1693-1760)
(translated by Tsuge Gen'ichi)