Which is no cause for concern, by the way. What I worry about are the people who believe we have changed since 1856. The moon knows otherwise.
Harald Sohlberg, "Moonlight, Nevlunghavn" (1922)
There is such loneliness in that gold.
The moon of the nights is not the moon
Whom the first Adam saw. The long centuries
Of human vigil have filled her
With ancient lament. Look at her. She is your mirror.
Jorge Luis Borges (translated by Willis Barnstone), in Jorge Luis Borges, Selected Poems (edited by Alexander Coleman) (Viking 1999).
I suppose that the poem violates John Ruskin's strictures about the use of the pathetic fallacy in poetry (although I'm not certain he was consistent in his thinking on the matter). Personally, as much as I admire Ruskin, I don't see the pathetic fallacy as such a bad thing. If Borges perceives the moon as being filled with "ancient lament," I don't see why not. It makes perfect sense to me.
Winifred Nicholson, "The Hunter's Moon" (1955)
I am also quite willing to accept the silent friendship of the moon, even if she is filled with ancient lament.
The silent friendship of the moon
(I misquote Virgil) has kept you company
since that one night or evening
now lost in time, when your restless
eyes first made her out for always
in a patio or a garden since gone to dust.
For always? I know that someday someone
will find a way of telling you this truth:
"You'll never see the moon aglow again.
You've now attained the limit set for you
by destiny. No use opening every window
throughout the world. Too late. You'll never find her."
Our life is spent discovering and forgetting
that gentle habit of the night.
Take a good look. It could be the last.
Jorge Luis Borges (translated by Alan Trueblood), Ibid.
How nice to see Borges use the word "destiny." A very unmodern word, wouldn't you say? It suggests something beyond ourselves, and thus makes us nervous. Destiny? Fate? Soul? "The vale of Soul-making"? Of what relevance are they when we have Science and Progress at our disposal?
Paul Nash, "The Pyramids in the Sea" (1912)
I think the following poem captures our affinity and reciprocity with the moon very well. In his quiet way, over hundreds of poems, Walter de la Mare often surprises us with these small gems.
The far moon maketh lovers wise
In her pale beauty trembling down,
Lending curved cheeks, dark lips, dark eyes,
A strangeness not her own.
And, though they shut their lids to kiss,
In starless darkness peace to win,
Even on that secret world from this
Her twilight enters in.
Walter de la Mare, Motley and Other Poems (1918).
Frank Ormond (1897-1988), "Moonrise, Stanford Dingley"