Jessie Mackay

(1864 - 1938 / Rakaia Gorge)

Rona in the Moon Poem by Jessie Mackay


Rona, Rona, sister olden,-
Rona in the moon!
You'll never break your prison golden,-
Never, late or soon!

Rona, for her crying daughter,
At the dead of night
Took the gourd and went for water;
Went without a light.

There she heard the owlets wrangle
With an angry hoot;
Stick and stone and thorny tangle
Wounded Rona's foot.

'Boil the moon!' she said in passion;
'Boil your lazy head!
Hiding thus in idle fashion
In your starry bed!'

Angry was the moon in heaven;
Down to earth she came:-
'Stay you ever unforgiven
For the word of shame!

Up!- you made the moon a byword -
Up and dwell with me!'
Rona felt the drawing skyward,-
Seized a ngaio tree.

But from earth the ngaio parted
Like a bitten thread;
Like a comet upward darted
Rona overhead.

In the moon is Rona sitting
Never to be free;
With the gourd she held in flitting
And the ngaio tree.

You'll never break your prison golden,-
Never, late or soon,
Rona, Rona, sister olden, -
Rona in the moon!

Submitted: Tuesday, May 15, 2012

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