In the Margin (1938)
While few men praise and hardly more defend
That armed power which from here, and as things are,
Appears the whole Japan; while this forced war
Inhuman drags to some inglorious end,
And kills, and fires, and fouls, I too must feel
Horror and wonder at the deeds thus done,
And fear each day’s exploit of crashing steel
Has merely lost what old Japan had won.
But through the smoke and dust I still can see,
And may I not forget, much that belongs
To that great name “Japan” as well as those.
Faultless devotions raise clear eyes to me;
Through crowded streets gray-headed virtue goes,
And from poor farms I hear peaceful old songs.
For notes about ‘In the Margin’
see the Bibliography BD48;
for an overview of Blunden’s relation with Japan see Edmund
Blunden and Japan; for notes about Blunden work in print see A
‘First Impression’: Tokyo.