Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, THE DISAPPOINTED DEMON, by PATRICK REGINALD CHALMERS

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First Line: A japanese artist of old took a chisel
Last Line: The laughter of blossom-cheeked somebody san!
Subject(s): Disappointment; Love - Unrequited

A JAPANESE artist of old took a chisel,
And a chunk of smooth ivory, soft as is such,
And, wrinkle by wrinkle and bristle by bristle,
A little old demon had life at his touch,—
A squat little figure
All sword-belts and vigour,
With claws that could clasp with a terrible clutch!

A tea-house acquired him, he sat in its porches
For years of red lacquer and joss-stick and fan,
The sun on the fir-trees at noon, and the torches
Of gay paper lanterns at nightfall, he'd scan,
Blind to both for a geisha,
The brightest in Asia,
Whom he loved, as a demon in ivory can!

She was small and delightful, her silk robes would rustle
When she slid o'er the matting with tea-tray and pot,
She'd a flower in her hair and a sash like a bustle,
And she loved her old demon, he fancied, a lot;
For she laughed at him often,
He'd thrill then and soften;
She was called something San, though I never learnt what.

But alas for his fancies, he'd misunderstood her;
One day, when the peach-bloom was pink on the trees,
There came a Mikado's Court Caption who wooed her
And wed her and carried her off at his ease,
And a P. & O. seaman
He looted the demon,
And brought him to London across the high seas!

Now he sits on my chimney in all his regalia,
As bored as a Buddha. He dreams of Japan,
Of hill-sides of cherry and banks of azalea
And pines that would whisper to maiden and man,
But mostly of laughter
That rang to the rafter,
The laughter of blossom-cheeked somebody San!

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