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lunedì 10 giugno 2013

Namu torai no doshi: blessed be the Savior that shall come [Murasaki Shibiku, 'GENJI MONOGATARI', Arthur Waley transl.] [IT IS SO DAMN SAD GC]

Their room was in the front of the house. Genji got up and opened the long sliding shutters. They stood together looking out. In the courtyard near them was a clump of fine Chinese bamboos; dew lay thick on the borders, glittering here no less brightly than in the great gardens to which Genji was better accustomed. There was a confused buzzing of insects. Crickets were chirping in the wall. He had often listened to them, but always at a distance; now, singing so close to him, they made a music which was unfamil­iar and indeed seemed far lovelier than that with which he was acquainted. But then, everything in this place where one thing was so much to his liking seemed despite all drawbacks to take on a new tinge of interest and beauty. She was wearing a white bodice with a soft, grey cloak over it. It was a poor dress, but she looked charming and almost distinguished; even so, there was nothing very striking in her appearance—only a certain fragile grace and elegance. . . .

“I am going to take you somewhere not at all far away where we shall be able to pass the rest of the night in peace. We cannot go on like this, parting always at break of day.” “Why have you suddenly come to that conclusion?” she asked, but she spoke submissively. He vowed to her that she should be his love in this and in all future lives, and she answered so passionately that she seemed utterly transformed from the listless creature he had known, and it was hard to believe that such vows were no novelty to her.

[They made the move.] It was now almost daylight. The cocks had stopped crowing. The voice of an old man (a pilgrim preparing for the ascent of the Holy Mountain) sounded somewhere not far away; and as at each prayer he bent forward to touch the ground with his head, they could hear with what pain and difficulty he moved. What could he be asking for in his prayers, this old man whose life seemed fragile as the morning dew? namu torai no doshi“Glory be to the Saviour that shall come”; now they could hear the words. “Listen,” said Genji tenderly, “is not that an omen that our love shall last through many lives to come?” And he recited the poem: “Do not prove false this omen of the pilgrim’s chant; that even in lives to come our love shall last unchanged.”

Then unlike the lovers in the “Everlasting Wrong” who prayed that they might be as “twin birds that share a wing” (for they remembered that this story had ended very sadly), they prayed, “May our love last till Maitreya comes as a Buddha into the World.” But she, still distrustful, answered his poem with the verse: “Such sorrow have I known in this world that I have small hope of worlds to come.” Her versification was still a little tentative.


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