Nocturne

A poem by Edward Powys Mathers

It is late at night
And the North Star is shining.
The mist covers the rice-fields
And the bamboos
Are whispering full of crickets.
The watch beats on the iron-wood gong,
And priests are ringing the pagoda bells.
We hear the far-away games of peasants
And distant singing in the cottages.

It is late at night.
As we talk gently,
Sitting by one another,
Life is as beautiful as night.
The red moon is rising
On the mountain side
Like a fire started among the trees.
There is the North Star
Shining like a paper lantern.
The light air brings dew to our faces
And the sound of tamtams beaten far away.
Let us sit like this all night.

Song of Annam.

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