Verse > Anthologies > > Arthur Quiller-Couch, ed. > The Oxford Book of Victorian Verse
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Arthur Quiller-Couch, comp.  The Oxford Book of Victorian Verse.  1922.
 
A Japanese Love-song
By Alfred Noyes (1880–1958)
 
THE YOUNG moon is white,
  But the willows are blue:
Your small lips are red,
  But the great clouds are gray:
The waves are so many        5
  That whisper to you;
But my love is only
  One flight of spray.
 
The bright drops are many,
  The dark wave is one:        10
The dark wave subsides,
  And the bright sea remains!
And wherever, O singing
  Maid, you may run,
You are one with the world        15
  For all your pains.
 
Tho’ the great skies are dark,
  And your small feet are white,
Tho’ your wide eyes are blue
  And the closed poppies red,        20
Tho’ the kisses are many
  That colour the night,
They are linkèd like pearls
  On one golden thread.
 
Were the gray clouds not made        25
  For the red of your mouth;
The ages for flight
  Of the butterfly years;
The sweet of the peach
  For the pale lips of drouth,        30
The sunlight of smiles
  For the shadow of tears?
 
Love, Love is the thread
  That has pierced them with bliss!
All their hues are but notes        35
  In one world-wide tune:
Lips, willows and waves,
  We are one as we kiss,
And your face and the flowers
  Faint away in the moon.        40
 
 
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