From An Old Nest

By Yosano Akiko

Skyward storms, don’t ask me along
while you wander aimlessly hither and yon,
bending the mountains, ravishing the fields—

Earthbound as I am, I could not bear it.

Wild flowers’ fragrance, don’t murmur to me.
If I were to become a flower’s scent
I would perfume an instant of time—

And then vanish forevermore.

Birds in the trees, don’t sing to me.
Born with wings, you fly
from branch to branch,

singing your way from flower to flower.

All things, all, turn yourselves away from me—
Over and over in my small voice,
repeating the whisper that never changes,

I rest in the nest of first love.

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