Fourth Section

Twenty Poems in which the Moon is the Principal Figure of Speech

Once More -- To Gloriana

Girl with the burning golden eyes,

And red-bird song, and snowy throat:

I bring you gold and silver moons

And diamond stars, and mists that float.

I bring you moons and snowy clouds,

I bring you prairie skies to-night

To feebly praise your golden eyes

And red-bird song, and throat so white.

First Section: Moon Poems for the Children/Fairy-tales for the Children

I. Euclid

Old Euclid drew a circle

On a sand-beach long ago.

He bounded and enclosed it

With angles thus and so.

His set of solemn greybeards

Nodded and argued much

Of arc and of circumference,

Diameter and such.

A silent child stood by them

From morning until noon

Because they drew such charming

Round pictures of the moon.

II. The Haughty Snail-king

(What Uncle William told the Children)

Twelve snails went walking after night.

They'd creep an inch or so,

Then stop and bug their eyes

And blow.

Some folks . . . are . . . deadly . . . slow.

Twelve snails went walking yestereve,

Led by their fat old king.

They were so dull their princeling had

No sceptre, robe or ring --

Only a paper cap to wear

When nightly journeying.

This king-snail said: "I feel a thought

Within. . . . It blossoms soon. . . .

O little courtiers of mine, . . .

I crave a pretty boon. . . .

Oh, yes . . . (High thoughts with effort come

And well-bred snails are ALMOST dumb.)

"I wish I had a yellow crown

As glistering . . . as . . . the moon."

III. What the Rattlesnake Said

The moon's a little prairie-dog.

He shivers through the night.

He sits upon his hill and cries

For fear that *I* will bite.

The sun's a broncho. He's afraid

Like every other thing,

And trembles, morning, noon and night,

Lest *I* should spring, and sting.

IV. The Moon's the North Wind's Cooky

(What the Little Girl Said)

The Moon's the North Wind's cooky.

He bites it, day by day,

Until there's but a rim of scraps

That crumble all away.

The South Wind is a baker.

He kneads clouds in his den,

And bakes a crisp new moon *that . . . greedy

North . . . Wind . . . eats . . . again!*

V. Drying their Wings

(What the Carpenter Said)

The moon's a cottage with a door.

Some folks can see it plain.

Look, you may catch a glint of light,

A sparkle through the pane,

Showing the place is brighter still

Within, though bright without.

There, at a cosy open fire

Strange babes are grouped about.

The children of the wind and tide --

The urchins of the sky,

Drying their wings from storms and things

So they again can fly.

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