Friday, 30 January 2015

The Beautiful Sword

In the blossom-land Japan
Somewhere thus an old song ran.

'Said a warrior to a smith
"Hammer me a sword forthwith
Make the blade
Light as the wind on water laid.
Make it long
As the wheat at harvest song.
Supple, swift
As a snake, without rift,
Full of lightnings, thousand-eyed!
Smooth as silken cloth and thin
As the web that spiders spin.
And merciless as pain, and cold."

'"On the hilt, what shall be told?"

'"On the sword's hilt, my good man,"
Said the warrior of Japan,
"Trace for me
A running lake, a flock of sheep."'
And one who sings her child to sleep."'

(Solomon Bloomgarden)

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