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A A J/ . FOUR JAPANESE PAINTINGS, " .

I THE PINE BRANCH
A Painting by Kenzan

A pine-branch stretches out Across the silence . . .

. . . Grey silence, untroubled Until this living thing Smote it into music. . . .

The void is restless now.
Silence shall be no more.
Greyness shall be no more,
Nor any peace.
For a singing curve and color
Have entered the vast dwelling—
A life, singing
Of the suns and the snows.
Now the old gods tremble
In their timeless halls;
Now the far halls beyond Orion
Are shaken with music.
For this chord, living,
This soul that knows not peace—
This dream-dust—stretches out
Across the silence.

II PINES ON A MOUNTAIN
A Screen by Yeitoku

Red pine-trunks! Immutable pines! Pillars upright under the grey sky! Pillars upright over the chasmed earth!— Upon these snow-heights Your downward sloping branches Point toward the human world Remote and troubled. But here on the ultimate ramparts Of the winter hills, Your huge columns Rise toward bleak heaven— Like an indomitable procession Of warriors, dark, green-crested, To whom the snows Are only wine and trumpets, To whom the winds Are only battle.

The Wave Symphon.

III THE WAVE SYMPHONY
A Screen by Sotatsu

Around islands of jade and malachite
And lapis-lazuli and jasper,
Under golden clouds,
Struggle the grey-gold waves.

The waves are advancing,
Swirling, eddying; the pale waves
Are leaping into foam, and retreating—
And straining again until they seem not waves
But gigantic crawling hands.
The waves clutch at the clouds,
The near and golden clouds;
They rise in spires over the clouds,
And over the pine-branch set against the clouds.
And around the islands,
Jasper and jade,
Their rhythms circle and sweep and re-echo
With hollow and foam-crest,
Infinitely interlacing their orbits and cycles
That join and unravel, and battle and answer,
From tumult to tumult, from music to music,
Crest to trough, foam-height to hollow,
Peace drowning passion, and passion
Leaping from peace.

IV BUDDHA APPEARING FROM BE HIND MOUNTAINs
A Painting by Choga

Two hills meet— Two dark green hills. About their shoulders Silver mists cling.

Slowly the gigantic
Face of the Buddha
In massive presence
Looks over the hills.
Tranquil his brow, unsmiling his lips;
Filling the whole sky with his haloes of glory,
He broods in a dream of gold.
Measureless peace sleeps on his golden forehead;
Measureless compassion
Weighs on his eyes.
Yet as I look
It seems that his terrible hidden hands
Even now are stirring
To rend apart the hills—
To divide the corrupt and cloven earth
For the triumphal entry of his burning form.

Arthur Davison Ficke

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