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Japanese Prints Post by :dzinecity Category :Poems Author :Frank Oliver Call Date :October 2011 Read :1964

Click below to download : Japanese Prints (Format : PDF)

Japanese Prints

I.--THE LADY WITH THE YELLOW FAN

O little lady with the yellow fan
Why are you so sad?
Why does a tear stand
Like a tea-flower bud upon your cheek?
Your dress is of blue and scarlet silk,
Your slippers are embroidered with gems,
A gold and emerald butterfly has lighted in your hair,
Your serving-maid stands near
Awaiting your command,
And if you lifted but one slender finger
A chariot would come and carry you away to your father's palace.
Why are you so sad?

It is because the ships beside the shore
Spread their dark sails to the sea-blowing breeze;
The tide is high, and soon will set toward the distant islands,
And there is a gleam of swords and armour,
For the soldiers go to war beyond the seas.


II.--CAGED BIRDS

There are yellow birds within the cage;
Beside its gilded bars there stand the women
Whom the Great Prince loves to honour.
They wear silken robes and jewels in their hair,
And live in a pretty pink and yellow house.
But the women look not at the captive singing-birds,
Nor listen to their song,
Their eyes follow the flight of two white-breasted doves,
Winging their way towards the wind-torn clouds.


III.--WISTERIA

Why do you peer at me, old man,
With eyes half shut,
From underneath the purple lanterns of your wisteria vine?
Your face is but a mask,
Showing neither joy nor sorrow;
But I know you bend your head to listen
When the wild geese go honking towards the south,
And your eyes grow wide with sadness,
When the last petal falls from the wisteria flower.
You, too, love beauty,
Or else why twine the purple wisteria about your door-posts,
Or pin a yellow gem upon your lilac gown?


(The end)
Frank Oliver Call's poem: Japanese Prints

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