May he that bade me trust him, but did not come,
Turn into a demon with three horns on his head,
That all men fly from him!
May he become a bird of the waterfields
Where frost, snow, and hail fall,
That his feet may be frozen to ice!
Oh may he become a weed afloat on the pond!
May he trembling of the hare, with the trembling of the doe!
When I look at my lovely lady,
"Oh that I might become a clinging vine," I yearn,
"That from toe to tip I might be twined about her."
Then though they should crave --
Inseparable our lots!
As for my love --
Yesterday he came not, nor the day before was seen.
If to-day there is no news
With to-morrow's idle hours
Oh what shall I do?
The conch-shell fastened at the pilgrim's thigh,
The pilgrim mountain-faring --
With a chô it has fallen,
With a tei it has cracked:
Even so my heart is shattered
By this torment of love.
For sport and play
I think that we are born;
For jesting and laughter
I doubt not we are born.
For when I hear
The voice of children at their play,
My limbs, even my
Stiff limbs, are stirred.
Dance, dance, Mr. Snail!
If you won't I shall leave you
For the little horse,
For the little ox
To tread under his hoof,
To trample to bits.
But if quite prettily
You dance your dance,
To a garden of flowers
I will carry you to play.
[There is a modern Tokyo children's song which begins Mai, mai tsuburo!
But like most modern snail-songs it ends with and appeal to the animal to put out its horns.]