Japan and the Treaty of Portsmouth (1905)
More than a conqueror now she stands revealed.
He that hath read war’s rueful histories
In this, Japan, thy sole surrender, sees
Thy crowning triumph; who, by flood and field
Victor, to no base idol having kneeled
Of greed or glory, didst with seeming ease,
The golden mean accounting more than these,
On the full tide of fortune pause, and yield.
Thy loss herein were universal gain,
Would but thy Western teachers learn of thee
The strength, in strength, which can itself restrain,
Nor for pride only, or mere aims of State,
But, in humanest magnanimity,
Cares for the sake of greatness to be great.
James Rhoades (1841-1923)
was author of several volumes of verse published in London and translator
of among other works an often-reprinted Aeneid. ‘Japan
and the Treaty of Portsmouth’ appeared in Words by the Wayside
(London: Chapman & Hall, 1915).