A Japanese Thought

Ōta Dokan, the great builder of the castle of Tokyo, was pierced through with a spear. His assassin, knowing the poetical predilection of his victim, accompanied his thrust with this couplet—

"Ah! how in moments like these
Our heart doth grudge the light of life."

The expiring hero, not one whit daunted by the mortal wound in his side, added the lines—

"Had not in hours of peace,
It learned to lightly look on life."

The Soul of Japan
Inazo Nitobé