Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, PENRHYN'S PILGRIMAGE: CANTO SECOND: 3. KOREA, by ARTHUR PETERSON

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PENRHYN'S PILGRIMAGE: CANTO SECOND: 3. KOREA, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: In funnel-hats, and gowns of white
Last Line: And meets the eye nor hill nor wood.
Subject(s): Korea


In funnel-hats, and gowns of white,
Each one with fan or pipe in hand,
I see the swart Koreans stand,
Viewing us from their native height.

But soon their raft-like boats they drive
Across the wave with lusty arm,
And o'er our decks, like children, swarm,
With eye and hand inquisitive.

A hermit land; last one of all
To open to the world its doors;
Whose harbors are forbidden shores,
Whose headlands are a fortress-wall.

A race recluse; yet soon, I think,
To learn the lesson Fate has sent;
And Orient to Occident
Knit with another golden link.


Now, as behind us dimmer grow
Quelpaert's bold outlines to our eyes,
Unnumbered islands round us rise --
Korea's archipelago.

They rise, they stud the silent sea
As stars the dark-blue heaven above,
And through their clusters bright we move,
Like fleecy cloud, all silently.

They rise, they stand above the wave,
Some castles old we can but deem,
While others domes of mountains seem,
Whose groins have ocean for a grave.

Here wheel the wild sea-gulls; here play
The seals in many a coral grove;
Here float, upon the waves above,
The fisher-boats of far Cathay.


The Land of Morning Calm! Well might
Kishi so name this region fair;
Save on the north sea-bounded; there
Rises Paik-tu, the ever-white.

Here mountains gaze, serenely grand,
Upon the deep which round them gleams;
Here, by the valley's tranquil streams,
In rows, the snowy herons stand;

Here, in his looking-chamber high,
Oft sits the sage or poet grave,
Viewing some scene of wood and wave,
With wild-geese flying in the sky.

One trophy only I brought forth,
Cho-sen, thy barriers from within --
A royal tiger's splendid skin,
Shot in the forests of the north.


Behind us, China's shore to seek
Once more, we leave the Korean strand,
And o'er the Yellow Ocean stand
For Shantung's promontory bleak.

Its light we hail at break of day,
Shining the stars of morning through,
And in thy harbor deep, Chefoo,
Anchor, and for a sennight stay.

Then over Pechili's wild bay
Our vessel steams, with many a roll;
Tientsin our present journey's goal,
To world-renowned Peking the way.

Here flows the Peiho's tortuous flood,
Here stretches Chihli's wind-swept plain,
Here seems monotony to reign,
And meets the eye nor hill nor wood.

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