Alfred Noyes

(16 September 1880 – 25 June 1958 / Wolverhamton)

Haunted In Old Japan


I
Music of the star-shine shimmering o’er the sea
Mirror me no longer in the dusk of memory:
Dim and white the rose-leaves drift along the shore
Wind among the roses, blow no more!

II
All along the purple creek, lit with silver foam,
Silent, silent voices, cry no more of home;
Soft beyond the cherry-trees, o’er the dim lagoon,
Dawns the crimson lantern of the large low moon.

III
We that loved in April, we that turned away
Laughing, ere the wood-dove crooned across the May,
Watch the withered rose-leaves drift along the shore.
Wind among the roses, blow no more!

IV
We that saw the winter waste the weeping bower,
We that saw the young love perish like a flower,
We that saw the dark eyes deepening with tears,
Hear the vanished voices in the land beyond the years.

V
We that hurt the thing we loved; we that went astray,
We that in the darkness idly dreamed of day . . .
. . . Ah! The dreary rose-leaves drift along the shore.
Wind among the roses, blow no more!

VI
Lonely starry faces, wonderful and white,
Yearning with a cry across the dim sweet night,
All our dreams are blown a-drift as flowers before a fan,
All our hearts are haunted in the heart of old Japan.

VII
Haunted, haunted, haunted; we that mocked and sinned
Hear the vanished voices wailing down the wind,
Watch the ruined rose-leaves drift along the shore;
Wind among the roses, blow no more!

VIII
We, the sons of reason, we that chose to bride
Knowledge and rejected the Dream that we denied,
We that mocked the Holy Ghost and chose the Son of Man, [1]
Now must wander haunted in the heart of old Japan

IX
Haunted, haunted, haunted, by the sound of falling tears,
Haunted, haunted, haunted, by the yearning of the years;
Ah! the phantom rose-leaves drift along the shore;
Wind among the roses, blow no more!

X
All along the purple creek, lit with silver foam,
Sobbing, sobbing voices, cry no more of home:
Soft beyond the cherry trees, o’er the dim lagoon,
Dawns the crimson lantern of the large, low moon.

Submitted: Tuesday, April 06, 2010

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