Arthur Davison Ficke
A mouldering Buddha sits as warden
Beside the ruined
He must be rash,
or strong with fate,
Who mounts unbidden to this garden.
The pine and cypress intertwining
Cover the lotus-pool
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
While Buddha’s lips are faintly smiling.
appeared in The Happy Princess and Other Poems (BG1).
For an overview of Ficke’s
relation with Japan see Arthur
Davison Ficke and Japan in the Bibliography, and for a note
about Ficke’s work in print see At