Yone Noguchi

Spirits of Fuji Mountain (1903)

Fuji Yama,
Touched by thy divine breath,
We return to the shape of God.
Thy silence is Song,
Thy song is the song of Heaven:
Our land of fever and care
Turns to a home of mellow-eyed ease—
The home away from the land
Where mortals are born only to die.
We Japan daughters and sons
Chanting of they fair majesty,
The pride of God,
Seal our shadows in thy bosom—
The balmiest place of eternity,
O white-faced wonder,
O matchless sight,
O Sublimity, O Beauty!
The thousand rivers carry thy sacred image
On their brows;
All the mountains raise their heads unto thee
Like the flowering tide,
As if to hear thy final command.
Behold! the seas surrounding Japan
Lose their hungry-toothed song and wolfish desire,
Kissed by lullaby-humming repose,
At sight of thy shadow,
As one in a dream of poem.
We being around thee forget to die:
Death is sweet,
Life is sweeter than Death.
We are mortals and also gods,
Innocent companions of thine,
O eternal Fuji!




For an overview of Noguchi’s relation to English literature see the Bibliography D15. ‘Spirits of Fuji Mountain’ appeared in From the Eastern Sea (D15e1), the work that established Noguchi’s reputation in London.

A generous selection of Noguchi’s verse, including many of his poems of Japan, was returned to print in 1990 with publication of volume 1 of Selected English Writings of Yone Noguchi: An East West Literary Assimilation, edited by Yoshinobu Hakutani, which is available in the US here, in the UK here.















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