The Hesperian / (Lincoln, Neb.) 1885-1899, January 15, 1893, Page 7, Image 7

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Ah He me dead in the sunrise land,
Where the sky is blue and the hills are gray,
Where the camels doze in the desert sun,
And the sea gulls scream o'er the big blue bay.
Where the Hwang-Ho glides through the golden
And the herons play in the rushes tall,
Where pagodas rise upon every hill
And the peach trees bloom by the Chinese wall.
Where the great grim gods sit still in the dark,
And lamps burn dim at their carven feet,
And their eyes like the eyes of the serpent king
Flash green through the dusk of the incense
Though deep under ground I shall see the sun,
And shall feel the stretch of the blue overhead,
And the gems that gleam on the breast of the god.
And shall smell the scent of the peach though
Most of the world knew him only as
Tung Le Ho, one of the few white haired
Chinamen who were to bo seen about the
streets of San Francisco, llis cue was as
long as that of any other John; and with the
exception of wearing spectacles, he adhered
strictly to his national costume. He sat all
day long in an open bazar where he worked
in silk and ivory and sandal wood. Ameri
cans who had lived there long said he must
be worth a vast deal of money, for Yung
was the best workman in the city. All the
ladies who were enthusiastic over Chinese
art bought bis painted silken birds, and
beautiful lacqured boxes, his bronze vases,
his little ivory gods and his carved sandal
wood, and paid him whatsoever he demand
ed for them. Had he possessed a dozen
hands he might have sold the work of all of
them, as it was, he was very skillful with
two. Yung was like Michel Angelo, he
allowed no one to touch his work but him
self; he did it all, rough work and delicate.
When the ship brought him strange black
boxes with a sweet spicy odor about them,
he opened them with his own hands and
took out the yellow ivory tusks, and the
bales of silks, and the blocks of shining
ebony. And no hands but his touched
l hem until thoy were fashioned into the
beautiful things with which the ladies of
San Francisco loved to adorn their drawing
Day after day he sat in his stall, cross
legged and silent like the gods of his coun
try, carving his ivory into strange images and
his sandal wood into shapes of foliage and
birds. Sometimes he cut it into the chapes
of the foliage of his own land; the mulberry
and apricot and chestnut and juniper that
grew about the sacred mountain; the bamboo
and camphor tree, and the rich Indian bean,
and the odorous camelias and jagonicas that
grew far to the south on the low banks of
the Yang-Tsc-Kiang, Sometimes ho cut
shapes and leaves that were not of earth,
but were things he had seen in his dreams
when the Smoke was on him.
There were some people beside the
artistic public who knew Yung; they were
the linguistic scholars of the city there are
a few of these, even so far west as San Fran
cisco. The two or three men who knew a
little Sanskrit and attacked an eytract from
the Yedas now and then, used often to go
to Yung to get help. For the little white
haired Chinaman knew Sanskrit as thor
oughly as his own tongue. The professors
had a good deal of respect for Yung, though
they never told anyone of it, and kept him
completely obscured in the background as
professors and doctors of philosophy always
do persons whom they consider "doubtful"
acquaintances. Yung never pushed himself
forward, nor courted the learned gent'emen.
He always gave them what they wanted,
then shut up like a clam and no more could
be gotten out of him. Perhaps Yung did
not have quite as much respect for the gen
tlemen as they had for him. He had seen
a good many countries and a good many
people, and he knew knowledge from