Gordon Bottomley

To Yone Noguchi,
with a copy of ‘Midsummer’s Eve’ (1906)

I have seen bending ladies in mist
Gathering dewy butterflies with fans
Before full day takes off their burden of moon-drops—
O, faint delicious ladies with wistaria
Dropt down their silken backs. And I have seen
Your clear pure mountain, firm inverted lily,
Rapt Fusiyama, through tall fringy waves.
There is no dream I have not some time dreamed
Of your far land rare and desirable:
And in this greyer place of shadow and veil
I now prepare a poem my heart has loved
And filled with solemn Autumn as it falls
On vision and longing in this greyer place
To send to you because my heart has loved
Your murmurs of hushed poetry that wait
On stillness to express what sound must lose:
This poem of earth and change I send to you
Because I think of you among your poems
In your far land dear and desirable
(Land of such haunting hands and eyes and hair,
Blossoms and pines and foam of invisible sea),
Where now perhaps you are withdrawn to meet
A night-song half a gleam and half a sigh.




See the Bibliography CA3 and D15. ‘To Yone Noguchi’ was written in 1906 and appears in Bottomley’s Poems and Plays (London: The Bodley Head, 1953).




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