O Moon (as sung by Shakespeare)


Proposition V.

That the moon hath
not any light of her own.


— J. Wilkins, Bishop of Chester,
The Mathematical & Philosophical Works, London, 1708


Dictynna, Phoebe, Luna,
the horned lanthorn lantern,
modest moon of drunken heart,
pale companion wandering in anger,
my love, musty chaff,
governess of sea & flood,

when will the moonshine shine moon?
not a month when Adam was no more
not five weeks when he was a hundred
an eclipse portends a fall
nothing beneath you is remarkable, so
remove your clouded face—
no sun to eclipse or borrow from
your snatched pale fire, my sweet arrant thief
unmask your beauty
a glimpse alone would make me corpse
shine through the bosom of the deep into my watery eyes
overshine those pin-head cinders of the element
beam unsunny beam while wind
gently kisses the trees
compass the globe
proceed by night
hear not the clock
wink whip whirl about in wondrous motion
come near the earth
make men mad
mumble wicked charms
stand auspicious, sovereign mistress of melancholy,
with kings for messengers
raise artificial sprites by strength of their illusion
drawn in by confusion distilled by magic sleights
pluck back the overweening arm leveled at my life
weary you would whisper change
though changed, I take you full:
moon you are, but I am man

Sweet governess of sea & flood,
dwell in musings of solemn considerings
send forth salty tears to drown the world
never gaze upon the water
forbid the sea to obey
chant faint hymns to fruitless cold
look with [dry] eyes: when you weep
weeps every [lilac], tongue-tied
lamenting chastity like an icicle
seal the next new day between you & I, or
prepare to die on Diana’s altar, sick with grief
& I, like, Pyramus, bathe in blood
but I’d rather be a dog & bay
(Fly, armed Cupid, between the cold & I;
fly the fiery shaft quenched in glacial water:
an easy leap to pluck bright, upright honor)
seamen of brave mettle & suspicion would lift you from your
sphere
only to hang their hats upon your horns
drop that old man Endymion from heaven bloody to the earth
present his horrid ghost of lack-leen cheeks & war-worn coat
nor would virtue save the thing from death
a slaughter never looked upon
feel no guilt of disaster, for too slow he wanes: eyes cast in
strange postures—
his mother, Hecate, a strong witch, controls the ocean
ebb & flow
her Irish wolves howl against you
her [bone spears] a hundred times broke
to scar you with splinters
of a coal-black bullock [ritually
slain]
shift your uncertain complexion to effects strange
bore the earth that, through the center, you may creep or
be bored by the main-mast, swallowing
both yest & froth—with searoom, brine, & cloudy
billow, I kiss
and care not
persuade vegetation to grow
& slips of yew slivered
tip these fruit-tree tops with silver
be
from head to foot
marble-
constant
unite our hands commutual in sacred bands
behold the night of our solemnities:
when will the moon shine
a silver bow new-bent in heaven?


Trent Walters: "Contrary to popular folklore, Neil Armstrong was not the first man on the moon. I was. He was the first to walk on the moon. Since I was the first out the lander, he tripped me, making me the first man to swim on the moon. I also have the distinction of being the first man to crack his helmet on the moon and the first man to die on the moon. As you can imagine, the government hushed up these events, and I was expunged from the historical records. That's okay because my celestial spirit is at home wandering the deep craters, kicking up regolith and slow-motion rocks."