Hallgrímskirkja Church {Reykjavik}

18.4.10




The courtesans are turned out in their best,

How delightfully they speak and laugh along the lovely green river.

They call out to the gentleman all the day long,
And tempt them with songs that
charm the hardest heart.

They mince about with flirtatious glances
so difficult to resist.

Someday, though, even these captivating women
will have nothing left, And they will be left out in the harsh cold.

Leave off your mad rush for gold and jewels, I've got something
far more precious for you:

A bright pearl that sparkles more brilliantly than the sun and moon,
And illuminates each and every eye.

Lose it and you'll wallow in a sea of pain;
Find it and you'll safely reach the other shore.

I freely preset this treasure to anyone,

But hardly anyone asks for it.

(Ryokan)

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