The Man in the Moon Came Down Too Soon
The Man in the Moon had silver shoon,
It and his beard was of silver thread;
With opals crowned and pearls all bound
about his girdlestead,
In his mantle grey he walked one day
across a shining floor,
And with crystal key in secrecy
he opened an ivory door.
He twinkled his feet, as he thought of the meat,
of pepper, and punch galore;
And he tripped unaware on his slanting stair,
and like a meteor,
A star in flight, ere Yule one night
flickering down he fell
From his laddery path to a foaming bath
in the windy Bay of Bel.
He began to think, lest he melt and sink,
what in the moon to do,
When a fisherman's boat found him far afloat
to the amazement of the crew,
Caught in their net all shimmering wet
in a phosphorescent sheen
Of bluey whites and opal lights
and delicate liquid green.
Against his wish with the morning fish
They packed him back to land:
'You had best get a bed in an inn', they said;
'the town is near at hand'.
Only the knell of one slow bell
high in the Seaward Tower
Announced the news of his moonsick cruise.
For hunger or drouth naught passed his mouth
till he gave both crown and cloak;
And all that he got, in an earthen pot
broken and black with smoke,
Was porridge cold and two days old
To eat with a wooden spoon.
For puddings of Yule with plums, poor fool,
he arrived so much too soon:
An unwary guest on a lunatic quest
from the Mountains of the Moon.
List of terms
Below is a list of terms that are used within the poem.
- Bay of Bel - A fictitious name derived from the Bay of Belfalas in Gondor.
- Seaward Tower - A fictitious spelling of the Sea-ward Tower of Dol Amroth in Gondor.
- Yule - A six-day long holiday at the end and the beginning of the Shire Calendar.
- Mountains of the Moon - The fictitious home of the Man in the Moon located on the Moon. The name was a possible jesting reference to the Mountains of Lune.
- J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Fellowship of the Ring, "At the Sign of the Prancing Pony"
- J.R.R. Tolkien, The Adventures of Tom Bombadil, "Preface"
- J.R.R. Tolkien, The Adventures of Tom Bombadil, "The Man in the Moon Came Down Too Soon"
- Robert Foster, The Complete Guide to Middle-earth, entry Bay of Bel
- Robert Foster, The Complete Guide to Middle-earth, entry Mountains of the Moon