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LOVE LIES MUTE.
Where true lovers find a grave.
Drop no tear!
Some day here
Joyous spring shall reappear; Buds shall be, and flowers shall wave. And the face of earth look brave.
Drop no tear!
Here, in one most quiet bed.
Naught's to hide
Where twain abide: Hand and heart in dust are wed. Now to sever their repose Rides no wave, and no wind blows:
Others pass, but these abide.
Nay, take courage! Well is well.
Doth greet you here
All ends well.
Love is an immortal root:
Yet its bliss
All comes to this—
Love lies mute.
Poll Mull Mscazlnc.
THE HARPER'S SONG.
This sweetness trembling from the strings, The troublous music in the lute. Hath timed Herodias' daughter's foot
Setting a-clink her ankle rings When as she danced to feasted kings;
Whose gemmed apparel gleamed and caught
The sunset 'neath the golden dome.
To the dark beauties of old Rome My sorrowful lute hath haply brought Sad memories sweet with tender thought.
When night had fallen, and lights and fires Were darkened in the homes of men.
Some sighing echo stirred, and then The old cunning wakened from the wires The old sorrows and the old desires.
Dead Kings in long forgotten lands.
Have heard my lyre's soft rise and fall Go trembling down the paven ways Till every heart was all ablaze, Hasty each foot, to obey the call To triumph or to funeral.
Could I begin again the slow, Sweet, mournful music filled with tears, Surely the old dead, dusty ears Would hear, the old drowsy eyes would glow, Old memories come—old hopes and fears And Time restore the long ago.
In Switzerland one idle day,
Another day in sleet and rain
And some recall for heart's delight
It is In the spring-time, the far-famed cherry-blossom time, when all Japan makes holiday beneath spacious canopies of pink and white bloom, or a little later, when the giant wistarias display their hanging mauve trusses, while irises, tree-peonies and azaleas create a riot of color in the land, or else in autumn, after rains and storms have passed away and the woods are arrayed in scarlet and gold, that the everincreasing army of tourists from the West is wont to overrun these pleasant Eastern resorts, testifying to its appreciation thereof in the shrill, nasal, or guttural accents of the divers nationalities which it represents. During the summer, travellers, save such as are bound for the mountains, are warned off from Japan by the guide-books. July and August are months of oppressive, damp heat and frequent rains; flowers, except the lotus, are few at that season, and the mosquito is a burden.
However, seasons vary, and on this • Written in 1903.
brilliant August day there is no rain nor sign of any In dusty Tokyo—has been none, they say, for weeks past. The Genza, that wide main thoroughfare of the Mikado's capital, with its incongruous tramcars and multitudinous perspiring foot-passengers, is baking and shimmering in the heat; the untiring little jinrlkisha-man In the shafts, whose white mushroom hat goes bobbing along on a level with your feet as you sit beneath a sun umbrella, has to mop his brow continually, though he never relaxes his pace; the masons, busy over their work of demolition and deplorable reconstruction, have discarded all the clothing that can be decently discarded in a city so bent upon becoming European in aspect and habit. The transmogrifying process is being carried out only too rapidly and thoroughly. Everywhere the old wooden houses, with their overhanging tiled roofs, are coming down, to be replaced by meaningless, unsuitable, flimsy structures of brick and stucco; Europe, or rather America, is being reproduced here with a fidelity as unflattering as a photograph to the commonplace original. The transition effect is depressing. It does not, somehow, seem to imply progress, or at least not progress in the right direction. One has the impression (wrongly perhaps, yet unavoidably) of a vulgar degeneration. Happily, Japan is a land of almost incessant earthquakes.
For the rest, it is easy, and does not take very long, to escape from the dust and noise and bustle of the streets to the seclusion of the Shiba Park, where, girdled by overarching trees and enclosed by rotting black palings, are the mortuary temples of the Tokugawa Shoguns, who for two centuries and a half ruled Japan from the old Yedo, which has not yet been completely converted into new Tokyo. Here at least one has no sense of change, beyond that wrought by lapse of time, stress of destructive weather, and, unfortunately, lack of care. For the shrines of the Shoguns are not much frequented, and the priests in charge are said to be poor—so much so that repairs are visibly neglected. But the work of the patient, laborious artists who adorned these temples, into the twilight of which one penetrates through courts filled with the customary stone lanterns, is virtually imperishable. Employing only the very best materials, they could brave decay. Gold lacquer may have been a little rubbed here and there, colors may have faded somewhat; but the exquisite wood-carving remains sharp and clear, the metals and crystals and inlaying cannot crumble away. Here we have the last word of decorative art; not to be surpassed, nor ever again, one surmises, to be equalled; for never and nowhere again, if an ephemeral denizen of this hurried, narrowed world may venture to prophesy, will such years recur as those in which Japan, closed against foreigners and self-sufficing, could
carry out tasks in hand with so fine a disregard of the pecuniary value of the passing hours.
Of course, such conscientious finish of minutest detail does not make for general effect. Here, as everywhere in Japan, there is a suggestion of disdain for facile ostentation, a hint of secrecy, mystery, dignified reserve, characteristic of a people whose habitations are of the barest simplicity, whose treasured possessions are exhibited only to those who can appreciate them, whose elaborate and charming courtesy veils one knows not what sentiments, opinions, alms. If you wish to enjoy the beauties of the Shiba temples you must look for them, and look rather closely in that semi-darkness. Yet the general effect, whether designedly or not, is there: an effect at once glorious and mournful, which fitly commemorates departed rulers and an abolished system of rule. It Is very quiet and still among these shrines and tombs; the clop, clop of wooden clogs is heard only at intervals in the courts that surround them; the hum of the living city comes but faintly and fitfully upon the breeze which sets the leaves overhead rustling; the one persistent sound is the peculiar dirge-like croak— Ah! ah! uh!—of ravens, hovering always above the temple roofs.
Ravens are long-lived birds, and to be old is to be conservative. If they lament the vanished magnificences of Ieyasu and his successors, of feudal daimyos and attendant samurai, of a civilization which needed not to borrow or imitate, unless from that neighboring civilization on the mainland whence it took its start, possibly they may have some human congeners in this abruptly revolutionized country. Possibly, and, one would imagine, probably; although there is not much to confirm conjecture in that direction. Something in the nature and genius of the race—patriotism, perhaps, or the ingrained habit of obedience, or one of the many forms of Oriental fatalism— seems to lead them towards a ready and cheerful acquiescence in the decrees of their rulers. Without audible murmurs they accept all that has been thrust upon them: the preposterous buildings, the greatly increased cost of living, the absurd European costume (which Is now obligatory, at least at Court), the substitution of European laws, customs, and methods of government for those which, through long use and wont, must have become dear to their hearts. And for what equivalent? Once upon a time, when Napoleon III. passed for an ambitious would-be conqueror, and certain small States lived in fear of their formidable neighbor, a tire-eating subject of his was engaged in controversy with a Genevese professor upon the drawbacks and advantages of annexation.
"Mais, monsieur," he exclaimed at last, "ga veus est-il egal de pouvoir dire Je suis Fr-r-rangais ou d'avouer que vous etes"—and here he dropped his voice to a demure whisper—"Suisse?"
Is it or is it not worth some sacrifice of personal convenience to belong to a great nation? Does patriotism necessarily mean ambition to see one's nation powerful, or will desire for the blessings of unobtrusive prosperity suffice? Be that as it may, the intense patriotism of the Japanese is beyond dispute, and when some forty-five millions of human beings are admittedly patriotic, intelligent, docile, and fearless, they are likely to go far, provided that they have capable leaders. Japan, we are assured, does not dream of becoming paramount in Asia; her legitimate aspirations have been formulated over and over again; if only these can be realized, she will not ask for more; the Yellow Peril is a ridiculous bogey. Perhaps so.
Meanwhile, on this sultry August day our Tokyo friends profess to be
seeking peace and ensuing It They have been told that they must really be reasonable, and have smilingly repiled that if they are anything, they are that. Fight Russia single-handed? Oh, but of course not! Not, at least, unless their very existence as a nation should be threatened; in which case, naturally, they would have to defend themselves to the best of their poor ability. They quite understand that the Great Powers cannot and will not be drawn into a general war for the sake of their beaux yeux. Glittering, obliquely set, heavy lidded little bootbuttons of eyes, which reveal nothing, but see all that there is to be seen! If the Japanese are as inscrutable as diplomatists, merchants, and travellers unite in pronouncing them, they probably have not the same complaint to make of us, our ingenuous Western motives and methods lying so very much upon the surface—for the admiration or otherwise of the contemplative. .
Well, let us give ourselves the pleasure and amusement of watching them in their surface aspect, since we are not likely to penetrate far beneath it. A foreigner may watch them for a long time without ceasing to be pleased and amused. Simple, kindly, good-humored folk, one would say; devoted, as everybody has noticed, to children and boundlessly patient with them; not unlike good children themselves, and certainly most unlike descendants of the truculent warriors whom their artists love to depict. The well-knit little soldiers of to-day, in their clean white linen uniforms, look fit for work, it is true, but convey no impression of the suppressed cruelty and lust for blood which are so unmistakably legible upon the rascally visages of the Chinamen whom they put to confusion nine years ago. Numbers of them are strollingband in hand generally—about the Ueno Park on the other side of the city, a more popular place of resort than Shiba. Here, in shrines not less superbly adorned than those which we have quitted, lie six more dead Shoguns; here, too, is the famous avenue of cherry-trees, which attracts thousands of visitors from all districts in spring; and here a lake, charmingly starred just now with lotus flowers. The air is heavy, the heat and glare are overpowering; but the little strollers do not seem to mind. It is impossible (at least if Western standards of beauty are to be accepted) to call them anything but ugly; yet one almost loves them, and is altogether grateful to them, for wearing an aspect so free from care. Our parks and streets at home can show nothing like that for the consolation of wayfarers who have themselves left the age of gayety behind. Troubled, harassed, despairing, or dully vacant, the faces that keep flitting past you there have fifty tales to tell; but barely among a hundred will you detect one which bespeaks a contented owner. In Japan the apparent percentage of discontent is as small. Nowhere else in the world are people to be found so universally, so palpably enamored of sheer existence. Yet they have little or no objection to being killed. Is that because the Christian privilege of looking forward to a possible eternity of torment is denied to them, or because with them love of country is not nominally, but quite simply and unfeignedly, stronger than the love of life Itself?
It is a life-loving, laughter-loving crowd that swarms round about the great Buddhist temple of Kwannon, the thousand-handed Goddess of Mercy, that strange, busy, noisy place, thronged with dealers in toys, charmsellers, loungers, clucking poultry—possibly a few pilgrims or worshippers. Many ex-votos, in the shape of pictures and lanterns, adorn the structure, lending it the aspect of a cheerful pagan
Lourdes. The great hall of the temple stands open; clogs and sandals are not removed by the multitudes who make a thoroughfare and a meeting-place of it. But the altar, resplendent with gilding, flowers, lighted lamps and candles, is shut off by a wire screen, behind which some priests are nasally chanting.
In the Asakusa gardens, hard by, a species of permanent fair is held, with the usual accompaniments of performing bears, monkeys, jugglers, and so forth; also a quaint show of marionettes, which skip nimbly through interminable dramas without wearing out the patience of the enthralled spectators. In one of these the scene descends at length to the bottom of the sea, where intrepid divers do battle with submarine monsters and an improbable crocodile or alligator gobbles them up for their pains, to the huge amusement of the audience.
The day wanes, the sun sinks, the shadows of evening close in, bringing no abatement of the heat. The little people begin to stream back citywards, chattering, laughing, manipulating their paper fans. How can one take them seriously? How can it be supposed that they will ever be so crazy as to match their strength against that of the grim Northern giant whom they must, nevertheless, face one of these days in deadly combat, unless they are prepared to accept virtual vassaldom without striking a blow? They are, no doubt, a fighting race, little as they have the air of it, and their shores have never been menaced with invasion since Kublai Khan's Mongol fleet was dispersed by them some six centuries ago; but the question which still remains a question is whether their abrupt and unreserved adoption of a civilization which is not theirs will have the results for which alone so much that was more or less definitely theirs has been flung away. Success