Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, TOWARDS DEMOCRACY: PART 2. AS TO YOU O MOON, by EDWARD CARPENTER



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TOWARDS DEMOCRACY: PART 2. AS TO YOU O MOON, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: As to you o moon
Last Line: Lo! The quiet moon in the sky—yet to a child it has cold its secret.
Subject(s): Air Travel; Astronomy & Astronomers; Moon; Science; Telescopes & Binoculars; Universe; Scientists; Opera Glasses


AS to you O Moon—
I know very well that when the astronomers look at you through their
telescopes they see only an aged and wrinkled body;
But though they measure your wrinkles never so carefully they do not see
you personal and close—
As you disclosed yourself among the chimney-tops last night to the eyes of
a child,
When you thought no one else was looking.

Gustily ran the wind down the bare comfortless street, the clouds flew in
long wild streamers across your face, the few still on foot were hurrying
homewards—
When, as between the wisps of rain O moon you shone out wonderfully bare
and bright,
Lo! far down in the face of a boy I saw you.

Dashed with rain, wet with tears,
Stopping suddenly to lean his head against a wall, caught by your
look—
The pale smudged face, the tense glittering eyes, never swerving a moment,
The curls fringing his dirty cap, the rare pale light of wonder and of
suffering:
Yes, far down, as in a liquid pool in the woods, centuries down under the
surface, as I passed I distinctly say you.

I should like to know what you were doing there,
You old moon, with your magic down in that boy's soul so powerfully
working,
While all the time the appearance of you was journeying up above in the
sky!
I should like to know how many thousands and thousands you have looked at
like that, so quietly and calm-deceptively:
Why, the reflected light is in their eyes yet—pale sleepless maidens
looking out from ivied casements, choral processions winding upwards at dusk to
the groves of Ashtoreth, cave-dwellers ages ago sitting at the mouths of their
caves— I see the glitter of sparkles as from an immense ocean.

You are an artful old (heavenly) body!
One might almost think that there really was nothing behind those wrinkles,

And that the effluences of gravitation and magnetism which the astronomers
think so much of were really the last word to be said about you—as a child
might know an elderly dame by the camphor bag which she carried in her pocket,
and nothing more.
Yet I fancy that as you jog along round the earth you take very good note
in your quiet way of the limpid faces looking up at you, peering
deep—centuries down—into each;
I fancy that you are not ill-pleased to pass as you do for a harmless old
lady—plucking thus with the less hindrance the flowers that you love;
I fancy that somewhere among the niches and chasms of those rugged craters
you surely treasure them up, sacred and faithful, against a day that we little
dream of;
Anyhow I see plainly that like all created things you do not yield yourself
up as to what you are at the first or the thousandth onset,
And that the scientific people for all their telescopes know as little
about you as any one—
Perhaps less than most.

How curious the mystery of creation, the juggle of the open daylight! and
all things sworn conspirators to that end!
Lo! the quiet moon in the sky—yet to a child it has cold its secret.





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