Robert William Service (16 January 1874 - 11 September 1958 / Preston)
The Moon is like a ping-pong ball;
I lean against the orchard wall,
And see it soar into the void,
A silky sphere of celluloid.
Then fairy fire enkindles it,
Like gossamer by taper lit,
Until it glows above the trees
As mellow as a Cheddar cheese.
And up and up I watch it press
Into appalling loneliness;
Like realms of ice without a stain,
A corpse Moon come to life again.
Ruthless it drowns a sturdy star
That seeks its regal way to bar;
Seeming with conscious power to grow,
And sweeter, purer, gladder glow.
Dreaming serenely up the sky
Until exultantly on high,
It shimmers with superb delight,
The silver navel of the night.
I have a compact to commune
A monthly midnight with the Moon;
Into its face I stare and stare,
And find sweet understanding there.
As quiet as a toad I sit
And tell my tale of days to it;
The tessellated yarn I've spun
In thirty spells of star and sun.
And the Moon listens pensively,
As placid as a lamb to me;
Until I think there's just us two
In silver world of mist and dew.
In all of spangled space, but I
To stare moon-struck into the sky;
Of billion beings I alone
To praise the Moon as still as stone.
And seal a bond between us two,
Closer than mortal ever knew;
For as mute masses I intone
The Moon is mine and mine alone.
To know the Moon as few men may,
One must be just a little fey;
And for our friendship's sake I'm glad
That I am just a trifle mad.
And one with all the wild, wise things,
The furtive folk of fur and wings,
That hold the Moon within their eyes,
And make it nightly sacrifice.
O I will watch the maiden Moon
Dance on the sea with silver shoon;
But with the Queen Moon I will keep
My tryst when all the world's asleep.
As I have kept by land and sea
That tryst for half a century;
Entranced in sibylline suspense
Beyond a world of common-sense.
Until one night the Moon alone
Will look upon a graven stone. . . .
I wonder will it miss me then,
Its lover more than other men?
Or will my wistful ghost be there,
Down ages dim to stare and stare,
On silver nights without a stir--
The Moon's Eternal Worshipper?
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