It’s bitterly cold here this week. The bitter cold makes the moon and stars seem brighter and more inviting — I want to step out onto my back porch and look at the stars but **brrr** it’s too cold. So I stood taking pictures of the moon through the patio door.
Whenever I look at the moon, two lines of poetry come to mind – either Cumming’s “there’s the moon, there is something faithful and mad” or Noyes’ “[t]he moon was a ghostly galleon tossed upon cloudy seas”. This week it was a Noyes kind of moon.
The Highwayman by Alfred Noyes
THE wind was a torrent of darkness among the gusty trees,
The moon was a ghostly galleon tossed upon cloudy seas,
The road was a ribbon of moonlight over the purple moor,
And the highwayman came riding—
The highwayman came riding, up to the old inn-door.
He’d a French cocked-hat on his forehead, a bunch of lace at his chin,
A coat of the claret velvet, and breeches of brown doe-skin;
They fitted with never a wrinkle: his boots were up to the thigh!
And he rode with a jewelled twinkle,
His pistol butts a-twinkle,
His rapier hilt a-twinkle, under the jewelled sky.
Over the cobbles he clattered and clashed in the dark inn-yard,
And he tapped with his whip on the shutters, but all was locked and barred;
He whistled a tune to the window, and who should be waiting there
But the landlord’s black-eyed daughter,
Bess, the landlord’s daughter,
Plaiting a dark red love-knot into her long black hair.
You can read the rest of this wonderful poem at The Poem Hunter.
The “ghostly galleon” line reminds of Montague Dawson‘s, Crescent Moon (a copy of which is hanging in my son’s bedroom).
For more poetry, visit the wonderful and talented Tabatha Yeatts at The Opposite of Indifference.
Did you read The Highwayman in High School? My wonderful English teacher worked it into a unit on Romeo and Juliet. I still love the sound of this poem — reading it aloud is a pleasure.