Half Moon

Half Moon

Original Text

The Desolate Star and other poems (Christchurch: Whitcombe and Tombs, 1929): 28-29.

1The little pools of starlight splash
2Against the poplars' slender lines;
3The moon is like a golden comb,
4Caught in the tresses of the pines.
5Go quietly, lest unaware
6You find the leafless path that leads
7To where an older god than God
8Makes cruel music through the reeds.
9The lilies float like slender hands
11With crowns of oakleaves in their hair
13Not Innocency's self shall walk
14These breathless ways and shall not see
15The wine-stained lips and dangerous eyes,
17And lovers, who have wandered through
18The clover-purple evening's peace,
19Have seen, deep-breasted, insolent,
20The mocking loveliness of Greece --
21Have heard the lawless bugles sing
22From that defiant Paradise,
23And glimpsed, like moonlight through the trees,
24The glory of unearthly eyes.
25And never shall the watcher seek
26His tender human loves again;
27For marble-white, with singing lips,
28The woodmaids glimmer through his brain.
29Go quietly. The tall gods here
30Would wear your beauty like a flower,
31To crush with jests and cast aside
32In one unpitying, splendid hour.


10] satyr: in Greek tradition, a woodland creature or minor god depicted as a man with pointed ears, legs and short horns of a goat with a fondness for unrestrained revelry and sexual appetite. Back to Line
12] fauns: one of a class of rural deities, similar to but gentler than, the satyr. Usually depicted as a man with the ears, legs and short horns of a goat. Back to Line
16] Arcady: a mountainous region of ancient Greece, traditionally known for the contented pastoral innocence of its people; any real or imagined place offering peace and simplicity. Back to Line
Publication Start Year
Publication Notes

Christchurch Sun, December 14, 1927. Christmas edition: 3.

RPO poem Editors
Cameron La Follette
Data entry: Sharine Leung