Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, THE VISITOR, by EDMUND CHARLES BLUNDEN

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THE VISITOR, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Suddenly the other side of this world wide
Last Line: Pilgrimage singing in the stranger's mind.
Alternate Author Name(s): Blunden, Edmund
Subject(s): Japan; Travel; Japanese; Journeys; Trips

SUDDENLY the other side of this world wide,
Whose proud extent even conquering Steam allowed,
Grew near as the garden-gate; no mountain then,
No rosy-torturing desert, no dead lake,
Nor jungle, whirlpool, jealous frontier stopped us.
We moved within the wings of some ten words
Into a most familiar country air,
And like spring showers received it from the hills
That stood from our old hills ten thousand miles --
Or none; we paused along the yellow plains,
And kissed the child that ran from shyer friends
To take our hand; and we could tell what passed
In unknown language between old pouchy boat-men
Among the huge bullrushes where for ever
Dwells the uncaptured serpent six yards long,
Whom the small fish warping the waters' brim
Decline to notice. Then came orange-orchards,
Rising above the sea-cliff's bridle-roads;
And azure-flaming waves around rock-caves
Whence the pine thrust its elbows; then the dirge
Of sunless streams down cold black buttresses
Of vaster porticoes hurled up at heaven;
And then the patient mountain-stairs past peril,
Triumphant in the eyrie of a hamlet
That hears the constant silvering of the springs
And smiles in the mountain-steep among its cherries
Above the green air-crystal of the valley.

We knew them, we had seen the lights of evening
Moon-mimic here; and heard through dew-bells dim
The strings that men cicada-like set murmuring.
Here, cried our hearts, tune might be found at length,
And all our dust laved in this garden of waters,
Our hurry halted by these giant rocks,
Whose coldness is a kindness, and above
There should be purer beams from heaven;
-- no distance,
Sea, landslide, chasm, nor crossway of our life
Divided us that moment from the unknown
Pilgrimage singing in the stranger's mind.

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