(First version - after Bertha Klug)
O mystic moon, that once the muses sang
In measures tuned to laud your majesty;
Who, once the cynosure of lovers' eyes,
In leukolithic dignity your court
Of stellar glory nightly entertained,
An age is ended; man has sensed your worth.
Tranquillity, whose Sea, in silence hushed,
Belies no whit the sweetness of its name,
In solemn peace vast eons now has slept,
Is ravished in her boudoir chaste by man,
Emissary of Civilisation's greed.
Proud predators, now daring all the risks
Of gravity and space, have scanned and scratched
The defenceless marble sanctum of her breast,
Intent on filching from her secret store.
Invaders plenipotentiary of a race
Whose glories are disruption and the foul
Corrupting of mankind and hate and war,
Have burst into those hallowed precincts pure:
But naught has graced their errand but the dust
Of ages and the life-blood of an ape.
Dear, enigmatic moon, you heretofore
Preserved your long virginity nor yet
Have yielded up your secrets; all unmoved
Have listened to the din of Progress, smiled
At man's ineptitude and venal mind.
And now with pitying eyes of innocence
You daze upon a spectacle macabre;
Technology triumphant, whither bent?
Man's ventures in the heights and depths designed
To further worldly gain, enrich the State,
Enlarge the personal aura and prestige
And leave behind no jot of recompense.
The startling wonder of a human step
Upon that virgin floor, untrodden yet,
Sufficed to cause all hearts to beat as one
In consonantal harmony sublime
And fellow-men their plaudits loud extend;
The memory faded with the twilight hour
And jiggle - jangle once again prevailed.
New Argonauts, another Golden Fleece
Now seek whose price shall amply suage and heal
The poverty and hunger, hate and wounds
Inflicted by nativity on the soul
And Nature rampant in her havoc spreads!
O silent moon, your counsel keep, repel
Th'insurgents planning stations to command
The universe and powers satanic gain,
Acquiring unimagined aid in war,
Another altar to almighty Mars,
And so new evils add to those of yore,
Self-immolation and the smell of death
Bequeathed to innocent posterity,
May ne'er your peace ineffable be lost.
To conquerors benevolent or malign.
Your radiance still our drooping eyelids tinge,
That we may neath your peaceful glory sleep.