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“Winter fast approaches;
you appear and it is springtime;
the crimson streaks of sunset pale
beside the silvered moon.
I entreat you, Cherry Blossom,
whilst all around us slumber,
tread softly through the gloaming,
and come meet me in my room.”


“Husband of the Shadows,
see the mist consume the valley;
the paddy-fields are empty
and the weaver leaves his loom.
The velvet cloak of evening
I shall wrap around my shoulders...
if you stud it with a thousand stars,
I will meet you in your room.”


“How you shiver, Cherry Blossom!
Let me warm you with my kisses;
my sheets are made from finest silk,
the blanket – edged with lace.
Take the ribbon from your tresses,
let them sweep the down-filled pillow,
as the willow’s tangled tendrils
rouse the spirits of the lake.”


“Husband of the Shadows,
I would gladly do your bidding...
if the bedspread shone with diamonds,
each one of them, hand-sewn...
Lay my head upon the pillow,
if you fill it full of dreams for me,
then you shall let my hair down
and untie its satin bow.”


“Don’t tease me, Cherry Blossom!
How I crave your treasured nectar;
let me court you as the honeybee,
and feast upon your blooms?”
“I don’t mock you, gentle husband.
Come – strip bare my laden branches!
It is you shall reap their harvest,
and be first to taste their fruit.”