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Poems About Japan

Table of Contents

  1. Amakagu by Anonymous
  2. Japan, excerpt from Kéramos by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
  3. Japan, excerpt from The Lusiad by Luís de Camões

  1. Amakagu

    by Anonymous

    Piercing the lofty sky,
    Yonder Amakagu soars;
    From whose brow the mists are lifting,
    In the fulness of the spring;
    Rustling mid the pines the wind
    Ruffles yonder pool’s smooth bosom,
    And of every grove and thicket
    Are the dark-massed shadows flecked
    By the mountain-cherry’s bloom;
    While along the strand are heard
    Shrilly cries of circling gulls,
    Mingling with the whirring din
    Of a flight of early wild-duck;
    And there cometh o’er the waters,
    In a rudderless frail bark,
    Onwards drifting oarless urged,
    In uncheered solitude,
    Our Emperor’s mighty heir.

  2. Japan, excerpt from "Kéramos"

    by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

    Cradled and rocked in Eastern seas,
    The islands of the Japanese
    Beneath me lie; o’er lake and plain
    The stork, the heron, and the crane
    Through the clear realms of azure drift,
    And on the hillside I can see
    The villages of Imari,
    Whose thronged and flaming workshops lift
    Their twisted columns of smoke on high,
    Cloud-cloisters that in ruins lie,
    With sunshine streaming through each rift,
    And broken arches of blue sky.

    All the bright flowers that fill the land,
    Ripple of waves on rock or sand,
    The snow on Fujyama’s cone,
    The midnight heaven so thickly sown
    With constellations of bright stars,
    The leaves that rustle, the reeds that make
    A whisper by each stream and lake,
    The saffron dawn, the sunset red,
    Are painted on these lovely jars;
    Again the skylark sings, again
    The stork, the heron, and the crane
    Float through the azure overhead,
    The counterfeit and counterpart
    Of Nature reproduced in Art.

  3. Japan, excerpt from "The Lusiad"

    by Luís de Camões, translated by W. J. Mickle

    These shores forsake, to future ages due:
    A world of islands claims thy happier view,
    Where lavish Nature all her bounty pours,
    And flowers and fruits of every fragrance showers.
    Japan behold; beneath the globe’s broad face
    Northward she sinks, the nether seas embrace
    Her eastern bounds; what glorious fruitage there,
    Illustrious Gama, shall thy labors bear!
    How bright a silver mine! when heaven’s own lore
    From Pagan dross shall purify her ore.