Houses of Sleep
Willow Woman
East West
Decline of Taste
Note on Yeats
Oscar Wilde
Again on Hokku
On Poetry
Again on Poetry
Morning Fancy
Ink Slab 




IT should begin with the opening of the shoji here. I pushed them apart. I should see the lotus bud of Fuji, singing the " swan-like rhapsody of dying night," from my garden, if it were a Japanese fiction. written by a foreigner; I do not see it from here. Never mind! I can be pretty well off without seeing it this morning. Thank God, I have even a quite comfortable peace. So I opened my garden Shoji. I went straight into dream from the reading of a book of poem by a certain lady, last night; during the whole night my mind was touched by the perfumes down a certain lane, now and then deliciously startled by a phantom that came back from a forgotten shade; and I am still dreaming this morning. I asked my servant to burn the incense which softly began to flap towards me as a tiny, pearl-winged butterfly tantalising many flowers. The incense tantalised my soul of fancy; my fancy grew irritated, and presently mad; it tried to chase it away again and again. May it not be the gray-robed ghost of something forgotten haunting my memory ? [<152]

I know you ghost of some lone, delicate hour, Long-gone but unforg[o]t, Wherein I had for guerden and dower, That one thing I have not." It was a white lilac that inspired the lady to write the lines—yes, the lilac tree. Shall I plant it in my garden, although I have no particular faith in flowers in a Japanese garden?" We moderns have only flowers, but not gardens," I often said; and I even went on to declare that we must protest against such a state of things. However, I should be glad to have one or two lilacs, not in the garden, but somewhere beyond my sight, their old perfumes sailing towards me over the grayness.
    As I said, I opened the shoji apart and sat on the verandah, sipping tea; from the cup my soul of fancy drank the youthfulness and love of these early summer days when every tree has changed its crimson-sleeved flower dress to a green coat. I always thought that green is a symbol of, youth, and also of a maturing love. So this early Summer is more to my heart than Spring. It is with these summer days that the breeze can spread its musical wings freely. O [<153] breeze terribly cursed by us and Spring in April-poor musician in air. Play on now, we welcome you really from our hearts! I am perfectly comfortable this morning. A moment ago I resolved that I would stop writing books; I would convert myself into a reader,—Well that is to say, when I have time. And this morning I am extremely happy in a sort of dream on this verandah. I looked upon the sky, and found a few birds; my own soul followed after them. The sun began to cast a strong fight. "To-day my soulls a dragon-fly."
The world a awaying reed."
    I thought presently about garden-making and now declared that the garden had nothing to do with nature, or not much. Those people are silly, I thought, who think that they can make a garden with a few scraps of what is vaguely called Nature, closed in with a wall or fence. Oh, no! There must be primarily the art of man; veil or clothe it with the breath of nature; let us read the art of man as well as that of Nature,—the unmistakable suggestion of humanity under the solitary breath of Nature. [<154] And my ideal garden should be silent. I am sure you will regard the voice as a piece of vulgarity when you are acquainted with the sweetness of silence. So a few trees I will have in my garden. But there must be a somewhat fantastic shape of stone under any circumstances. And one stone lantern, perhaps? The garden must be a poetry whose voice is suggestion or memory itself ; and I will try to gather there the meaning fit for my own fancy. But when shall I have my ideal Japanese garden?—Oh, my garden dark-robed and silent as a Buddha priest.