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Why had we come to the moon?
The thing presented itself to me as a perplexing problem. What is this spirit in man that urges him for ever to depart from happiness and security, to toil, to place himself in danger, even to risk a reasonable certainty of death? It dawned upon me that there in the moon as a thing I ought always to have known, that man is not made to go about safe and comfortable and well fed and amused ... against his interest, against his happiness, he is constantly being driven to do unreasonable things. Some force not himself impels him, and he must go. H G Wells, First Men in the Moon
Through the friendly silence of the soundless moonlight. Virgil, Aeneid
What strange influence does the moon have on the behaviour of man? In Search of s2e5 … Astrology, History 1978
The orbed maiden, with white fire laden,
Whom mortals call the Moon. Percy Bysshe Shelley, The Cloud
Art thou pale for weariness
Of climbing heaven, and gazing on the earth,
Among the stars that have a different birth,
And ever changing, like a joyless eye
That finds no object worth its constancy. Percy Bysshe Shelley, To the Moon 1824
And like a dying lady, lean and pale,
Who totters forth, wrapped in a gauzy veil. Percy Bysshe Shelley, The Waning Moon 1824
Close up the casement, draw the blind,
Shut out that stealing moon … Thomas Hardy, Shut Out That Moon
I looked up from my writing,
And gave a start to see,
As if rapt in my indicting,
The moon’s full gaze on me ... Thomas Hardy, I Looked up from My Writing
With how sad steps, O Moon, thou climb’st the skies;
How silently, and with how wan a face.
What, may it be that even in heavenly place
That busy archer his sharp arrows tries? Philip Sidney, Astrophel and Stella 1591
O moon, tell me,
Is constant love deemed there but want of wit?
Are beauties there as proud as here they be?
Do they above love to be loved, and yet
These lovers scorn whom that love doth possess?
Do they call virtue there ungratefulness? ibid.
There is something haunting in the light of the moon; it has all the dispassionateness of a disembodied soul, and something of its inconceivable mystery. Joseph Conrad
Oh, shine on, shine on, harvest moon
Up in the sky.
I ain’t had no lovin’
Since April, January, June or July. Jack Norworth, song 1908
O more than moon,
Draw not up seas to drown me in thy sphere,
Weep me not dead, in thine arms, but forbear
To teach the sea what it may do too soon. John Donne, 1572-1631, Songs and Sonnets: ‘A Valediction: of Weeping’
Say, it’s only a paper moon,
Sailing over a cardboard sea. Yip Harburg, song 1933
Wanna cry, wanna croon.
Wanna laugh like a loon.
It’s that Old Devil Moon in your eyes. Yip Harburg, song 1946
Ill met by moonlight, proud Titania. William Shakespeare, A Midsummer Night’s Dream II i 60
Therefore the moon, the governess of floods,
Pale in her anger, washes all the air,
That rheumatic diseases do abound:
And thorough this distemperature we see
The seasons alter: hoary-headed frosts
Fall in the fresh lap of the crimson rose. ibid. II i 103
How sweet the moonlight sleeps upon this bank!
Here will we sit and let the sounds of music
Creep in our ears: soft stillness and the night
Become the touches of sweet harmony. William Shakespeare, The Merchant of Venice V I
I had rather be a dog and bay the moon. William Shakespeare, Julius Caesar IV ii 78, Brutus to Cassius
It is the very error of the moon,
She comes more nearer earth than she was wont,
And makes men mad. William Shakespeare, Othello V ii 118-120, Othello
We associate the full moon with everything supernatural ... The moonlight was considered a special source of energy. Our ancestors had a close relationship with the night sky. Professor Richard Rudgley, interview Pagans: Magic Moments, Channel 4 2004
For me, the most ironic token of [the first human moon landing] is the plaque signed by President Richard M Nixon that Apollo 11 took to the moon. It reads, ‘We came in peace for all Mankind’. As the United States was dropping seven and a half megatons of conventional explosives on small nations in Southeast Asia, we congratulated ourselves on our humanity. We would harm no-one on a lifeless rock. Carl Sagan
The moon it turns out is gently swinging like a bell, just as if it had been hit by an asteroid less than a thousand years ago. Carl Sagan & Ann Druyan, Cosmos: Heaven and Hell, PBS 1980
Scientists now believe that four and a half billion years ago an object the size of Mars crashed into Earth releasing unfathomable energy. The collision ejected over seventy trillion tons of rock into space. The debris coalesced into a fiery molten world. 95 Worlds and Counting, Discovery 2000
The sun is four hundred times the diameter of the moon, but by sheer coincidence it is four hundred times further away from the Earth. Brian Cox: Wonders of the Solar System, BBC 2010
Cape Canaveral in Florida: this is Kennedy Space Centre where fifty years ago Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins blasted off aboard Apollo 11. And on July 20th 1969 Neil and Buzz became the first humans to walk on the moon. Brian Cox & Dara O’Briain, Stargazing: Moon Landing Special, BBC 2019
Cape Canaveral space port in eastern Florida: it’s spread across over 200 square miles. In the centre are the rocket factories and science labs. While the launch pads are scattered along the coastline about four miles to the east. From here over 400 people have blasted into space. ibid.
‘At lift off it was real shaky … real big vibration …’ ibid. Charles Duke