Alfred Noyes

A Japanese Love Song (1909)

The young moon is white,
But the willows are blue:
Your small lips are red,
But the great clouds are gray:
The waves are so many
That whisper to you;
But my love is only
One flight of spray.

The bright drops are many
The dark wave is one:
The dark wave subsides,
And the bright sea remains!
And wherever, O singing
Maid, you may run,
You are one with the world
For all your pains.

Though the great skies are dark,
And your small feet are white,
Though your wide eyes are blue
And the closed poppies red,
Tho’ the kisses are many
That colour the night,
They are linked like pearls
On one golden thread.

Were the gray clouds not made
For the red of your mouth;
The ages for flight
Of the butterfly years;
The sweet of the peach
For the pale lips of drouth,
The sunlight of smiles
For the shadow of tears?

Love, Love is the thread
That has pierced them with bliss!
All their hues are but notes
In one world-wide tune:
Lips, willows, and waves
We are one as we kiss,
And your face and the flowers
Faint away in the moon.




See notes about Noyes at Old Japan and CA2 in the Bibliography. ‘A Japanese Love Song’ appeared in The Enchanted Island (1909).






















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