Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, EASTERN TEMPEST, by EDMUND CHARLES BLUNDEN



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EASTERN TEMPEST, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: That flying angel's torrent cry
Last Line: Of wisdom infinitely calm.
Alternate Author Name(s): Blunden, Edmund
Subject(s): Japan; Japanese


THAT flying angel's torrent cry
Will hurl the mountains through the sky!
A wind like fifty winds at once
Through the bedragoned kingdom runs,
An army of rain slants icy stings
At many a wretch afield who clings
His cloak of straw, with glistening spines
Like a prodigious porcupine's.
The reptile grasses by his path
Wind sleek as unction from that Wrath
Which with a glassy claw uproots
The broad-leaved kiri, flays and loots
Torn and snarled sinews, leaves for dead
The young crops with the shining head,
While blotched blunt melons darkly dot
The slaughtered swathes like cannon-shot.
The lotus in each pond upheaves
Its sacred, slow, appealing leaves,
And many a bush with wrestling jerk
Defies the daemon's murderous work --
Yet nature stares white-lipped, to read
In Chance's eye what desperate deed?
A kinder god discerns, replies,
And stills the land's storm-shouts to sighs;
The clouds in massy folds apart
Disclose the day's bright bleeding heart,
Huge plumes and scarves black-tossing wide
As if a Kubla Khan had died!
From flame to flame the vision glows,
Till all the pools of heaven unclose
The lotus-light, the hue, the balm
Of wisdom infinitely calm.





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