Arthur Davison Ficke

Muramadzu (1907)

A mouldering Buddha sits as warden
Beside the ruined mossy gate.
He must be rash, or strong with fate,
Who mounts unbidden to this garden.

The pine and cypress intertwining
Cover the lotus-pool with shade.
But where the ancient graves are laid,
A dreamy veil of sun is shining.

I do not know what shapes are here,
Nor why the sun so strangely shines. . . .
It is a place of ruined shrines. . . .
The distant wind is all I hear. . . .

What secret makes this place beguiling
I know not; nor what visions lost
Stir like a frail forgotten ghost
While Buddha’s lips are faintly smiling.





‘Muramadzu’ (BG1d) appeared in The Happy Princess and Other Poems (BG1).

For an overview of Fickes relation with Japan see Arthur Davison Ficke and Japan in the Bibliography, and for a note about Fickes work in print see At Ise.






















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