Alfred Noyes

A Knight of Old Japan (1915)

Make me a stave of song, the Master said,
On yonder cherry-bough, whose white and red
Hangs in the sunset over the green seas.
The young knight looked upon his untried blade,
Then shrugged his wings of gold and blue brocade:
How should a warrior play with thoughts like these?

Fresh from the battle, in that self-same hour,
A mail-clad warrior watched each delicate flower
Close in that cloud of beauty against the West.
Drinking the last deep light, he watched it long.
He raised his face as if to pray. The strong,
The Master whispered, are the tenderest.









See notes about Noyes at Old Japan and CA2 in the Bibliography. ‘A Knight of Old Japan’ appeared in The Lord of Misrule (1915).






















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