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The Light o the Moon

Written by: Vachel Lindsay | Biography
 | Quotes (2) |
 [How different people and different animals look upon the moon: showing that each creature finds in it his own mood and disposition]


The Old Horse in the City

The moon's a peck of corn. It lies 
Heaped up for me to eat. 
I wish that I might climb the path 
And taste that supper sweet. 

Men feed me straw and scanty grain 
And beat me till I'm sore. 
Some day I'll break the halter-rope 
And smash the stable-door, 

Run down the street and mount the hill 
Just as the corn appears. 
I've seen it rise at certain times 
For years and years and years. 


What the Hyena Said

The moon is but a golden skull, 
She mounts the heavens now, 
And Moon-Worms, mighty Moon-Worms 
Are wreathed around her brow. 

The Moon-Worms are a doughty race: 
They eat her gray and golden face. 
Her eye-sockets dead, and molding head: 
These caverns are their dwelling-place. 

The Moon-Worms, serpents of the skies, 
From the great hollows of her eyes 
Behold all souls, and they are wise: 
With tiny, keen and icy eyes, 
Behold how each man sins and dies. 

When Earth in gold-corruption lies 
Long dead, the moon-worm butterflies 
On cyclone wings will reach this place — 
Yea, rear their brood on earth's dead face. 


What the Snow Man Said

The Moon's a snowball. See the drifts 
Of white that cross the sphere. 
The Moon's a snowball, melted down 
A dozen times a year. 

Yet rolled again in hot July 
When all my days are done 
And cool to greet the weary eye 
After the scorching sun. 

The moon's a piece of winter fair 
Renewed the year around, 
Behold it, deathless and unstained, 
Above the grimy ground! 

It rolls on high so brave and white 
Where the clear air-rivers flow, 
Proclaiming Christmas all the time 
And the glory of the snow! 


What the Scare-crow Said

The dim-winged spirits of the night 
Do fear and serve me well. 
They creep from out the hedges of 
The garden where I dwell. 

I wave my arms across the walk. 
The troops obey the sign, 
And bring me shimmering shadow-robes 
And cups of cowslip-wine. 

Then dig a treasure called the moon, 
A very precious thing, 
And keep it in the air for me 
Because I am a King. 


What Grandpa Mouse Said

The moon's a holy owl-queen. 
She keeps them in a jar 
Under her arm till evening, 
Then sallies forth to war. 

She pours the owls upon us. 
They hoot with horrid noise 
And eat the naughty mousie-girls 
And wicked mousie-boys. 

So climb the moonvine every night 
And to the owl-queen pray: 
Leave good green cheese by moonlit trees 
For her to take away. 

And never squeak, my children, 
Nor gnaw the smoke-house door: 
The owl-queen then will love us 
And send her birds no more. 


The Beggar Speaks

"What Mister Moon Said to Me."

Come, eat the bread of idleness, 
Come, sit beside the spring: 
Some of the flowers will keep awake, 
Some of the birds will sing. 

Come, eat the bread no man has sought 
For half a hundred years: 
Men hurry so they have no griefs, 
Nor even idle tears: 

They hurry so they have no loves: 
They cannot curse nor laugh — 
Their hearts die in their youth with neither 
Grave nor epitaph. 

My bread would make them careless, 
And never quite on time — 
Their eyelids would be heavy, 
Their fancies full of rhyme: 

Each soul a mystic rose-tree, 
Or a curious incense tree: 
Come, eat the bread of idleness, 
Said Mister Moon to me. 


What the Forester Said

The moon is but a candle-glow 
That flickers thro' the gloom: 
The starry space, a castle hall: 
And Earth, the children's room, 
Where all night long the old trees stand 
To watch the streams asleep: 
Grandmothers guarding trundle-beds: 
Good shepherds guarding sheep.



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