Edmund Blunden

To the New Japan (1949)

“Come, little babe, come, silly soul”—
The old song speaks my heart for me
Wherever I see them as I stroll,
These buds of rosy infancy,

Japan’s young children, staring shy
Or not so shy, from mother’s back
Or doorstep-side, as we go by,—
If love could bring them all they lack!

Come, serious youth, and burdened deep
With yesterday’s left loads as well
As those which sent you late to sleep,
And roused you soon; could age dispel
Some part of those, could faith express
Strong exhortation to each one,
It might be, from the wilderness
Each with grayer rhythm would run.

Come, life and thought, come, skill and charm,
Here in the land which far-born we,
In rushing street or brown-roofed farm,
Have eyes and minds and hearts to see,
And whence we learn calm light; come all,
And let us, as we can, declare:—
For young, for old, a spirit-call
Even now, bright music, stirs the air.




‘To the New Japan’ appeared in After the Bombing and Other Short Poems (BD59). For notes about Blunden’s relation with Japan see Edmund Blunden and Japan in the Bibliography, and for a note about Blunden titles in print see A ‘First Impression’: Tokyo.




















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