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C.D. Warner, et al., comp. The Library of the World’s Best Literature.
An Anthology in Thirty Volumes. 1917.

The Samurai

By José-Maria de Heredia (1842–1905)

“It was a man with two swords”

Translation of Maurice Francis Egan

THE BÎVA in her hand claims thought no more;

Some sounds she thrums, as through the lattice light

Of twist’ bamboo, she sees, where all is bright

On the flat plain, her love and conqueror.

Swords at his sides comes he,—her eyes adore,—

His fan held high, red girdle: splendid sight!

Deep scarlet on dark armor; and unite

Great blazons on his shoulder, feared in war.

Like huge crustacean, shining black and red,

Lacquer and silk and bronze from feet to head,

Plated and brilliant is this lovèd one.

He sees her,—smiles beneath his bearded masque;

And as he hastens, glitter in the sun

The gold antennæ trembling on his casque.