Poetry at The Museum of the Moon in Tintern during the Wye Valley River Festival, May 2018

‘The Moon’ by Sappho
The stars about the lovely moon
Fade back and vanish very soon,
When, round and full, her silver face
Swims into sight, and lights all space

‘The Little Things’ by Grahame Davies
You give the lonely hills the evening sky,
the moon above the moor until the dawn.
Your long compassion is the curlew’s cry,
your holiness the lambswool on the thorn.
 
Daystar in the stable, King of kings,
give us the grace to do the little things.
 
Frodyr a chwiorydd,
byddwch lawen. 

 
You give the skies of summer to the lark
and all the ways of winter to the wren.
You bring the wine of wisdom from the dark
and break the bread of life for broken men.
 
Companion of the outcast, King of kings,
give us the grace to do the little things.
 
Frodyr a chwiorydd,
cadwch ffydd.

  
You give a place to every stone and star:
whichever path we follow finds you near,
the freedom we forgot is never far,
the only way to heaven is from here.
 
Desire of the Nations, King of kings,
give us the grace to do the little things.
 
Frodyr a chwiorydd,
gwnewch y pethau bychain
a welsoch ac a glywsoch gennyf fi.

‘The Moon’ by William Henry Davies
Thy beauty haunts me heart and soul,
Oh, thou fair Moon, so close and bright;
Thy beauty makes me like the child
That cries aloud to own thy light:
The little child that lifts each arm
To press thee to her bosom warm.

Though there are birds that sing this night
With thy white beams across their throats,
Let my deep silence speak for me
More than for them their sweetest notes:
Who worships thee till music fails,
Is greater than thy nightingales.

‘Sorrows of the Moon’ by Charles Baudelaire
Tonight the moon dreams in a deeper languidness,
And, like a beauty on her cushions, lies at rest;
While drifting off to sleep, a tentative caress
Seeks, with a gentle hand, the contour of her breast;
As on a crest above her silken avalanche,
Dying, she yields herself to an unending swoon,
And sees a pallid vision everywhere she’d glance,
In the azure sky where blossoms have been strewn.
When sometime, in her weariness, upon her sphere
She might permit herself to shed a furtive tear,
A poet of great piety, a foe of sleep,
Catches in the hollow of his hand that tear,
An opal fragment, iridescent as a star;
Within his heart, far from the sun, it’s buried deep.

‘A Poplar and the Moon’ by Siegfried Sassoon
There stood a Poplar, tall and straight;
The fair, round Moon, uprisen late,
Made the long shadow on the grass
A ghostly bridge ’twixt heaven and me.
But May, with slumbrous nights, must pass;
And blustering winds will strip the tree.
And I’ve no magic to express
The moment of that loveliness;
So from these words you’ll never guess
The stars and lilies I could see.

The Freedom Of The Moon by Robert Frost
I've tried the new moon tilted in the air
Above a hazy tree-and-farmhouse cluster
As you might try a jewel in your hair.
I've tried it fine with little breadth of luster,
Alone, or in one ornament combining
With one first-water start almost shining.
I put it shining anywhere I please.
By walking slowly on some evening later,
I've pulled it from a crate of crooked trees,
And brought it over glossy water, greater,
And dropped it in, and seen the image wallow,
The color run, all sorts of wonder follow.

‘Ceridwen’ gan Grahame Davies
Meddyliais nad oedd dim mor wyn
â phlu’r dylluan ar lawr y glyn,
na dim mor fyw â’r ewig chwim,
na dim mor loyw â’r lloergan. Dim.
 
Ond dyma un y mae ei chroen,
yn loyw fel eirlys, gwyn fel oen;
mae golau fel y lloer ar li
ym mhyllau dwfn ei llygaid hi.
  
Meddyliais, cyn yr eiliad hwn,
mai cyflawn oedd y cread crwn,
ac nad oedd gan y byd ei hun
un modd i’m gwneud yn ddoethach dyn.
 
Ond dyma un â’i hwyneb mwyn
yn dallu’r lloer a’r sêr â’u swyn,
a dyma wlad na wyddwn i
ei gwynder - cyn ei gweled hi.  
 
A bellach, diffaith fydd y byd
os na ddaw mab a merch ynghyd -
yn nos a dydd, yn lloer a haul,
yn llanw a thrai, yn goed a dail.
 
I minnau, dim ond un peth sydd
yn awr i ffrwyno’r gwyntoedd rhydd,
a lleddfu’r tonnau ar y lli.
a chadw’r haul rhag llosgi. Hi.

‘Ceridwen’, English Prose translation
I thought that there was nothing as white / as the owl’s feather on the valley floor / nothing as alive as the swift hind / nothing as bright as moonlight. Nothing. / / But here is one whose white skin / is bright as a snowdrop, white like a lamb. / Light like that of the moon on the sea / is in the dark pools of her eyes. / / I thought, before this moment, / that the round creation was complete / and that the whole world / had no way to make me a wiser man. / / But here is one whose gentle face / blinds the moon and stars and their enchantment, / and here’s a land whose whiteness / I never knew – until I saw her. / / And now, the world will be a desert, / unless a man and maiden meet / - as night and day, as moon and sun / as ebb and flow, as leaf and tree. / / For me now, there is only one thing / to rein in the free winds / and calm the waves on the sea / and keep the sun from burning. You.

The Moon by Henry David Thoreau
The full-orbed moon with unchanged ray
Mounts up the eastern sky,
Not doomed to these short nights for aye,
But shining steadily.
She does not wane, but my fortune,
Which her rays do not bless,
My wayward path declineth soon,
But she shines not the less.
And if she faintly glimmers here,
And paled is her light,
Yet alway in her proper sphere
She's mistress of the night.

A Hymn to the Moon by Lady Mary Wortley Montagu
Thou silver deity of secret night,
Direct my footsteps through the woodland shade;
Thou conscious witness of unknown delight,
The Lover's guardian, and the Muse's aid!
By thy pale beams I solitary rove,
To thee my tender grief confide;
Serenely sweet you gild the silent grove,
My friend, my goddess, and my guide.
E'en thee, fair queen, from thy amazing height,
The charms of young Endymion drew;
Veil'd with the mantle of concealing night;
With all thy greatness and thy coldness too.