Hymn for a Winter Lunar Eclipse

Hail, lady Moon, blood-red and in shadow:
warfare’s darkness seems to swallow your face.
Soft snow melts into woodland and meadow.
Your sweet presence unifies time and place,
revealing Earth’s motion around our Sun,
and helping us know the planets’ rhythm.
Earth’s curving shadow uncovers Earth’s girth,
which reminds us how deep knowledge is won:
by measuring change, of inch and fathom,
and guessing from growth, an unobserved birth.

For millions of years, have you pulled our tides,
drawing Earth’s waters first to here, then there.
Yet in your change, infinity abides,
and though you know secrets, you do not share.
The flow of your phases is a river,
never quite touching the same degree twice,
when matched with movements of planet and star.
Though we count you a trickster and rover,
sly conniver who permits every vice —
still your destined path is perfectly clear.

Now in this moment, when Earth intercedes,
interposing her shadow on your face,
awake us to observe our planet’s needs
and guide our lives to achieveable grace:
clean air, clean heat, clean water, clean soil
strengthen the body and perfect the soul.
What we breathe, eat, and drink, and we, are one.
Set us to work on this happy toil:
health and prosperity for all the goal.
Thus eclipsed, drive us to works not yet done.

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