Friday, February 25, 2011

Make this night loveable

I was minding my own business. Feeding the sheep, fetching hay in the shed, carrying it through the garden. The usual stuff. But I had this uncanny feeling of being watched. There was nobody else but me around, the only sounds was my footsteps. But still ...

Instinctively I stopped and gazed up in the sky. Instantly my eyes met with the one watching me. Oh, it was Her, the Moon!

Make this night loveable,
Moon, and with eye single
Looking down from up there
Bless me, One especial
And friends everywhere.

With a cloudless brightness
Surround our absences;
Innocent be our sleeps,
Watched by great still spaces,
White hills, glittering deeps.

Parted by circumstance,
Grant each your indulgence
That we may meet in dreams
For talk, for dalliance,
By warm hearths, by cool streams.

Shine lest tonight any,
In the dark suddenly,
Wake alone in a bed
To hear his own fury
Wishing his love were dead.

W. H. Auden, 1953
V, from Five Songs

I like this poem, it's so beautiful in the beginning. At the end it is overtaken with melancholy and unhappy love. But that's what the Moon is about, too.

Good Night!


  1. yikes. the poem starts out so gently lulling the reader in and then ends with a fierceness made even more so because it was unexpected. The photos of the moon where beautiful.

  2. I don't think it's quite overtaken--it is the possibility of fierce sadness, but that "lest" saves it, don't you think? The conditional imperative, perhaps? Is there such a thing? Perhaps, as you say, that is what the ever-changing moon implies.


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