To Japanese Incense-Sara Teasdale

To Japanese Incense-Sara Teasdale


The wind that rings the temple bell

Is far away,

And far the brazen incense urns

Of ashes grey.

And far the carven temple gates

Of red and gold —

The dreamy temples where the gods

Have long been old.

The dragonflies and irises

Beside the stream,

Are far away in lands of dawn

And lands of dream.

And here beneath an alien sky

Your breath ascends,

A column delicate and grey

That waves and bends,

And lifts a scent of sandal-wood,

Devoid of prayer,

To seek an ancient Eastern god

Thro' Western air.