The Lady-in-Waiting Suwo
IF I had made thy proffered arm
A pillow for my head
For but the moment's time, in which
A summer's dream had fled,
What would the world have said?
The authoress was the daughter of Tsugunaka Taira, the Governor of the Province of Suwo, and a lady-in-waiting at the Court of the Emperor Goreizei, who reigned A.D. 1046-1068. She was present one day at a long and tedious court function, and, feeling very tired and sleepy, she called to a servant for a pillow; a nobleman on the other side of the screen, the First Adviser of State Tadaie, gallantly offered her his arm, with a request that she would rest her head there, and she replied with this verse. She intended him to understand that, though she was willing to accept him as her husband for life, she feared that his attachment would last no longer than a fleeting summer-night's dream.