Friday, March 18, 2011

Poetry Friday - The Wind and the Moon

George MacDonald

Born - December 10, 1824, Aberdeenshire, Scotland

Died - September 18, 1905, Surrey, England

Doesn't he look like a poet? Like a guy who would write fairy tales for kids? If he carried a bit more weight, he could be Santa Claus.

In case you're wondering, he was the man who inspired C. S. Lewis, J. R. R. Tolkien, Madeline L'Engle, and Elizabeth Yates, just to mention a few. He mentored Lewis Carroll and influenced Mark Twain. He knew practically every literary figure of his time, and he was the man they all looked up to. To read some of his work, click here, to read about him, click his name at the top of the page.

The Wind and the Moon
by George MacDonald

Said the Wind to the Moon, "I will blow you out;
You stare
In the air
Like a ghost in a chair,
Always looking what I am about —
I hate to be watched; I'll blow you out."

The Wind blew hard, and out went the Moon.
So, deep
On a heap
Of clouds to sleep,
Down lay the Wind, and slumbered soon,
Muttering low, "I've done for that Moon."

He turned in his bed; she was there again!
On high
In the sky,
With her one ghost eye,
The Moon shone white and alive and plain.
Said the Wind, "I will blow you out again."

The Wind blew hard, and the Moon grew dim.
"With my sledge,
And my wedge,
I have knocked off her edge!
If only I blow right fierce and grim,
The creature will soon be dimmer than dim."

He blew and he blew, and she thinned to a thread.
"One puff
More's enough
To blow her to snuff!
One good puff more where the last was bred,
And glimmer, glimmer, glum will go the thread."

He blew a great blast, and the thread was gone.
In the air
Was a moonbeam bare;
Far off and harmless the shy stars shone
Sure and certain the Moon was gone!

The Wind he took to his revels once more;
On down,
In town,
Like a merry—mad clown,
He leaped and halloed with whistle and roar —
"What's that?" The glimmering thread once more!

He flew in a rage — he danced and blew;
But in vain
Was the pain
Of his bursting brain;
For still the broader the Moon—scrap grew,
The broader he swelled his big cheeks and blew.

Slowly she grew — till she filled the night,
And shone
On her throne
In the sky alone,
A matchless, wonderful silvery light,
Radiant and lovely, the queen of the night.

Said the Wind: "What a marvel of power am I!
With my breath,
Good faith!
I blew her to death —
First blew her away right out of the sky —
Then blew her in; what strength have I!

But the Moon she knew nothing about the affair;
For high
In the sky,
With her one white eye,
Motionless, miles above the air,
She had never heard the great Wind blare.

Blow on over to A Wrung Sponge where Jazmon throws a bit of light on this week's Poetry Friday.


Mur said...

Very cool and just in time for full moon week!

Toby Speed said...

George MacDonald is one of my heroes. I love At the Back of the North Wind and The Light Princess. Thanks for sharing this poem and background about him, Barbara.

Barbara said...

The Light Princess is one of my favorites, too. What I like most about MacDonald is that his writing always has that other-world feel to it.

Mary Lee said...

I need to be more like the moon -- more able to ignore the loud, obnoxious, self-serving winds.

Andy said...

The perfect poem for a Supermoon night!

Andromeda Jazmon said...

That is a very clever poem! My dad turned me on to McDonald when I was young. I always found him challenging to read but rewarding. Thanks for sharing this.