The poets of old would have said that the vessel was attacking the heavens themselves

From The Tosa Diary of Ki no Tsurayuki (William Porter translator)

17th day – The heavy clouds cleared away, and the moonlight just before daybreak was very beautiful.  The boat set out, and they went on rowing.  What could the clouds overhead and the sea beneath be compared to?  He rather fancied that when the moon is reflected in the waves and (the sailor) plunges his pole down, the poets of old would have said that the vessel was attacking the heavens themselves in mid-ocean.  He though he had heard something of the kind, but was not sure.  ‘A certain personage’ then composed this:

As I row along,
At the bottom of the sea
Lies the lovely moon;
There’s a bush that grows on it,
Is it that my pole has hit?

Somebody on hearing this replied:

When I see its light
‘Neath the waves, I seem to be
Rowing all alone
Far across the heavenly sky,–
Lone and desolate am I.

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