Margaret A. Brooks

Japan, the Youngest Born (1899)

She sits afar on flowery isles,
To Europe’s Frowns gives beams and smiles,
Softly uncovering China’s wiles;
Gentle little Japan!
She worships her chrysanthemum;
Makes love ’neath cherry bloom and plum,
With sonnets for each fair Yum-Yum:
Gentle little Japan.

Marches to battle and to win!
Nor dreams her victory a sin;—
Thus to the world she is but kin,
Gentle little Japan.
What fate for thee, thou youngest born
Of nations, lately held in scorn?
Noonday more glorious than thy morn,
Gentle little Japan?

Or wilt thou bend for Teuton weal,
To Gallic Guns and Slavic heel,
Or new-born power thy strength reveal,
Gentle little Japan?
Who, who the horoscope shall cast,
Or gauge thye future by the past?
Who forge the chains to bind thee fast,
Gentle little Japan?

‘Japan, the Youngest Born’ appeared in the San Francisco-based Overland Monthly 33 (April 1899), p. 313.

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