I. Winter? Spring? Who knows? White buds from the plumtrees wing And mingle with the snows. No blue skies these flowers bring, Yet their fragrance augurs Spring. II. Oh, were the white waves, Far on the glimmering sea That the moonshine laves, Dream flowers drifting to me,— I would cull them, love, for thee. III. Moon, somnolent, white, Mirrored in a waveless sea, What fickle mood of night Urged thee from heaven to flee And live in the dawnlit sea? IV. Like mist on the leas, Fall gently, oh rain of Spring On the orange trees That to Ume's casement cling— Perchance, she'll hear the love-bird sing. V. Though love has grown cold The woods are bright with flowers, Why not as of old Go to the wildwood bowers And dream of--bygone hours! VI. Tell, what name beseems These vain and wandering days! Like the bark of dreams That from souls at daybreak strays They are lost on trackless ways.
This poem is in the public domain.
Carl Sadakichi Hartmann, born in the late 1860s in Japan, was a dramatist, fiction writer, and art critic. His poetry collections include Naked Ghosts: Four Poems (Fantasia, 1925), Tanka and Haiku: 14 Japanese Rhythms (G. Bruno, 1915), and My Rubaiyat (Mangan, 1913). He died in November 1944.
Date Published: 1904-01-01
Source URL: https://poets.org/poem/tanka