Sunday, August 10, 2014

More Moon Talk

This was the night of the big moon, but this was the best I could see from the yard of Goatsbeard Farm. Later, through the big windows at home (after the moon rose higher and the features were more visible) I have been looking for the rabbit in the moon, or the man bearing wood, or carrying a thorn bush. Or even the dog.  (See last night's post.) I just looked again;  I think need a diagram, or a hint. I'll try again later, just before getting into bed.

Here is the tale as told in Germany from the same Wikisource page I used last night.

Ages ago there went one Sunday morning an old man into the wood to hew sticks. He cut a faggot and slung it on a stout staff, cast it over his shoulder, and began to trudge home with his burden. On his way he met a handsome man in Sunday suit, walking towards the Church; this man stopped and asked the faggot-bearer, “Do you know that this is Sunday on earth, when all must rest from their labors?”
“Sunday on earth, or Monday in heaven, it is all one to me!” laughed the wood-cutter.
“Then bear your bundle forever,” answered the stranger; “and as you value not Sunday on earth, yours shall be a perpetual Moon-day in heaven; and you shall stand for eternity in the moon, a warning to all Sabbath-breakers.” Thereupon the stranger vanished, and the man was caught up with his stock and his faggot into the moon, where he stands yet.
And here is another selection. I look forward to looking at Wikisource for other interesting topics, viewed in clusters.
Alexander Necham, or Nequam, a writer of the twelfth century, in commenting on the dispersed shadows in the moon, thus alludes to the vulgar belief:—“Nonne novisti quid vulgus vocet rusticum in luna portantem spinas? Unde quidam vulgariter loquens ait:

“Rusticus in Luna,
Quem sarcina deprimit una
Monstrat per opinas
Nulli prodesse rapinas,

which may be translated thus: “Do you know what they call the rustic in the moon, who carries the faggot of sticks? So that one vulgarly speaking says:—

“See the rustic in the Moon,
How his bundle weighs him down;
Thus his sticks the truth reveal,
It never profits man to steal.”

I hope I've mentioned on this blog before how thankful I am that Miss Isabel Zimpel taught me Latin at Burnt Hills Ballston Lake High School in the early 1950s. I wasn't that grateful at the time, but find it still of almost daily usefulness, in all sorts of situations involving language. I would never have guessed at the time that it would turn out to be my most useful class. Which is why some students should have chances to learn things that aren't "useful"! So say I, and perhaps, so says the moon, if one could read it. And it has been Sunday on Earth and we had a very good visit with our grandson. I hope you had a good Sunday, too! Good night.

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