Why the Man in the Moon came down too soon: an East Anglian phantasy

The Man in the Moon had silver shoon
And his beard was of silver thread;
He was girt with pale gold and inaureoled
With gold about his head.
Clad in silken robe in his great white globe
He opened an ivory door
With a crystal key, and in secrecy
He stole o’er a shadowy floor;

Down a filigree stair of spidery hair
He slipped in gleaming haste,
And laughing with glee to be merry and free
He swiftly earthward raced.
He was tired of his pearls and diamond twirls;
Of his pallid minaret
Dizzy and white at its lunar height
In a world of silver set;

And adventured this peril for ruby and beryl
And emerald and sapphire,
And all lustrous gems for new diadems,
Or to blazon his pale attire.
He was lonely too with nothing to do
But to stare at the golden world,
Or strain for the hum that would distantly come
As it gaily past him whirled;

And at plenilune in his argent moon
He had wearily longed for Fire —
Not the limpid lights of wan selenites,
But a red terrestrial pyre
With impurpurate glows of crimson and rose
And leaping orange tongue,
For great seas of blues and the passionate hues
When a dancing dawn is young;

For the meadowy ways like chrysoprase
By winding Yare and Nen.
How he longed for the mirth of the populous Earth
And the sanguine blood of men;
And coveted song and laughter long
And viands hot and wine,
Eating pearly cakes of light snowflakes
And drinking thin moonshine.

He twinkled his feet as he thought of the meat,
Of the punch and the peppery brew,
Till he tripped unaware on his slanting stair,
And fell like meteors do;
As the whickering sparks in splashing arcs
Of stars blown down like rain
From his laddery path took a foaming bath
In the Ocean of Almain;

And began to think, lest he melt and stink,
What in the moon to do,
When a Yarmouth boat found him far afloat,
To the mazement of the crew
Caught in their net all shimmering wet
In a phosphorescent sheen
Of bluey whites and opal lights
And delicate liquid green.

With the morning fish — ’twas his regal wish —
They packed him to Norwich town,
To get warm on gin in a Norfolk inn,
And dry his watery gown.
Though Saint Peter’s knell waked many a bell
In the city’s ringing towers
To shout the news of his lunatic cruise
In the early morning hours,

No hearths were laid, not a breakfast made,
And no one would sell him gems;
He found ashes for fire, and his gay desire
For chorus and brave anthems
Met snores instead with all Norfolk abed,
And his mund heart nearly broke,
More empty and cold than above of old,
Till he bartered his fairy cloak

With a half-waked cook for a kitchen nook,
And his belt of gold for a smile,
And a priceless jewel for a bowl of gruel,
A sample cold and vile
Of the proud plum-porridge of Anglian Norwich —
He arrived so much too soon
For unusual guests on adventurous quests
From the Mountains of the Moon

„Защо човекът на Луната слезе рано на земята”. В „Едно северно приключение”, Лийдс, изд. „Суон” (юни 1923), стр. 17–19.

Публикувана отново в „Книга на изгубените легенди, част I”, стр. 204–206. Преработен вариант е публикуван и в „Приключенията на Том Бомбадил”.

Вж. последния вариант на творбата: The Man in the Moon Came Down Too Soon