この君は めでたきふしを かさねつつ 末の世ながき ためしなりけり 蓮月
Kono kimi wa/ medetaki fushi o/ kasane tsutusu
Sue no yo nagaki/ tameshi nari keri
[The inscribed poem winds around the base of the burner]
Puts forth node after node
Year after year
An example to us.
The simple, rough design of the tripod incense burner and the formation of the misshapen but charming little foo dog on the lop-sided lid is signature Rengetsu. It is apparent from the thick incense smoke stain on the inside of the lid that the burner was used heavily. (The present owners continue to use it to burn incense.) Since Rengetsu inscribed this particular poem on many different types of her pottery, it was meant to serve as an all-purpose praise of nobility, a nobility that is found even in everyday utensils. Thus, the poem (#304 in Ama no Karumo) is appropriate to be inscribed on any kind of pottery–tea ware, sake ware, dishes and plates, incense burners and so on.