Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, THE DAIMYO'S POND, by EDMUND CHARLES BLUNDEN



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THE DAIMYO'S POND, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: The swallows come on swift and daring wings
Last Line: Who knows that incantation, and will tell?
Alternate Author Name(s): Blunden, Edmund
Subject(s): Japan; Lakes; Japanese; Pools; Ponds


THE swallows come on swift and daring wings,
Their daring wings to dip with pure delight
In the mild pond: once more the kind fate brings
My heart that moment, and the world is bright.
The lilies there, the white ones and the red,
From the green cloudy deeps look up to heaven,
And antique holm-oaks sheltering their calm bed
Seem blessing Earth for such sweet duty given.

Look, how that old man, face like parchment tanned,
Wrinkled, mouth-shrivelled, silently is come
To the high bank, a bucket in his hand --
He beats upon it as it were a drum:
He beats a solemn summoning monotone,
And through the secrecies that under shroud,
The water-shapes steal towards his gonging drone,
The lonelinesses gather in a crowd.

Moon-pallid some come gliding through the green,
Great fishes, yet for phantoms passing well;
Others like opals rosy-rayed convene,
Jewels of June waters, to that simple bell;
Dark as barbaric dreams, there others swim,
And now to that old labourer's wish a host
Of splendours circle mingling, to the brim
Fanning and fawning, flame and dream and ghost.

Would that I might by means as plain as this
Bring many a mystery from life's shadowy pool,
Enchant the live gems from the unknown abyss,
And make them seen, the strangely beautiful.
What measured syllables must I resound,
Oh, what most simple and most secret spell
For hidden fancies waits there to be found?
Who knows that incantation, and will tell?





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