The Writings of Lafcadio Hearn, 9

Houghton Mifflin, 1922

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˹ 325 - ALL that we are is the result of what we have thought: it is founded on our thoughts, it is made up of our thoughts. If a man speaks or acts with an evil thought, pain follows him, as the wheel follows the foot of the ox that draws the carriage.
˹ 335 - Under whatever disguise it takes refuge, whether fungus or oak, worm or man, the living protoplasm not only ultimately dies and is resolved into its mineral and lifeless constituents, but is always dying, and, strange as the paradox may sound, could not live unless it died.
˹ 127 - I REMEMBER when a boy lying on my back in the grass, gazing into the summer blue above me, and wishing that I could melt into it become a part of it. For these fancies I believe that a religious tutor was innocently responsible: he had tried to explain to me, because of certain dreamy questions, what he termed "the folly and the wickedness of pantheism" with the result that I immediately became a pantheist, at the tender age of fifteen.
˹ 116 - The poetry of Japan has its roots in the human heart and flourishes in the countless leaves of words.
˹ 367 - ... all dead sensations of majesty and might and glory all expired exultations all forgotten magnanimities. Well may the influence of music seem inexplicable to the man who idly dreams that his life began less than a hundred years ago!
˹ 27 - ... wreathings of cloud: all this, and only this, consoles me for the labor and the pain. . . . Other pilgrims, earlier climbers poised upon the highest crag, with faces turned to the tremendous East are clapping their hands in Shinto prayer, saluting the mighty Day. . . . The immense poetry of the moment enters into me with a thrill. I know that the colossal vision before me has already become a memory ineffaceable a memory of which no luminous detail can fade till the hour when thought...
˹ 307 - ... of life to be a noble one. However poorly the upper classes of such a people might compare with those of other nations, we could scarcely doubt that its lower classes were morally and otherwise in advance of our own lower classes. And the Japanese actually present us with such a social phenomenon. Poetry in Japan is universal as the air. It is felt by everybody. It is read by everybody. It is composed by almost everybody, irrespective of class and condition.
˹ 367 - Great music is a psychical storm, agitating to fathomless depths the mystery of the past within us. Or we might say that it is a prodigious incantation. There are tones that call up all ghosts of youth and joy and tenderness ; there are tones that evoke all phantom pain of perished passion ; there are tones that resurrect all dead sensations of majesty and might and glory, all expired exultations, all forgotten magnanimities.
˹ 315 - ... tells of direction: Only the waste of sea under the shining moon! HAPPY POVERTY Wafted into my room, the scent of the flowers of the plum-tree Changes my broken window into a source of delight. AUTUMN FANCIES (1) Faded the clover now; sere and withered the grasses: What dreams the matsumushi * in the desolate autumnfields? (2) Strangely sad, I thought, sounded the bell of evening; Haply that tone proclaimed the night in which autumn dies! (3) Viewing this autumn-moon, I dream of my native...
˹ 9 - ... Open country with scattered clumps of trees larch and pine. Nothing in the horizon but scraggy tree-tops above what seems to be the rim of a vast down. No sign whatever of Fuji. . . . For the first time I notice that the road is black black sand and cinders apparently, volcanic cinders: the wheels of the kuruma and the feet of the runners sink into it with a crunching sound. The rain has stopped, and the sky becomes a clearer gray.