This is just deliciously tantalizing. Mind if I drool a bit?
This is so perfectly executed, the draw of mystery is displayed in your opening stanza--
and you do indeed reach for the moon, nothing trite about the word play, the rhymes that won't fit upon a NORMAL tongue, fit precisely here and beg to be played on stage. As they are, in the following stanzas.
"The silver sphere's proximity
Increas'd as the encroaching crew"
I like the foreshadow of "encroach", it sets the tone and foreshadows the lovely (albeit harsh in the overview) treatment of dear Luna, while giving the modern mind that visual necessary to follow the thought.
"Piccarda the Inconstant spied them
Constance next, her sources vext"
More than nice in the allusion here, and once again, strong opening to the stanza, with the follow up, not a whimper, but a little bit of strings before the next "ooomph".
You are playing this like a maestro here.
The fourth stanza is not quite as powerful, but like a master musician, (although I am kind of "iffy" on these two lines?
"When from the foreign cenotaph
The pallid men shot forth a laugh") although it doesn't NOT work, it seems kind of shruggish--yet? you do incorporate, quite musically, the good use of a "bridge"--which, delightfully leads us to your next thought provoking stanza:
" Dear Luna's wedding-gown is stain'd
Her bridesmaids still are weeping, shroudèd
Behind their craters, forever crowdèd
By empty Human fleshlings, chain'd
To that black-scarrèd surface, where
With shreddèd garlands in her hair
Fair Luna sings to Armstrong--he
Hath found her infertility."
Very strong stanza, which poses age old questions of philosophy, and lends a certain sadness to what most perceive as simply accomplishment, you, sweetheart, poet YOU, see the sadness in a mystery revealed, and equating the loss of that mystery with a metaphorical rape of nature in the name of knowledge is evident in the next stanza, which I thought and kind of still feel could be incorporated into one with the last:
"The astral dunes and lunar crags
Behold with fear the stripèd rag
That danceth not to airy sections
But to indignant hands that rip in all directions.
Still writhing, the sad legend sags
Its corpse, impaled, about a flag
Which mankind's bleeding curse endows
Upon the land of broken vows."
But that last stanza is exquisite with a subliminal conjuring of use of word "buzz"--
mankind's bleeding, and "broken" vows, leaving the reader with the subconscious imagery of rape of virgin, and further wondering, just whose hymen was broken in the conquest of man to dominate the natural world.
And if I applaud? I fear I will spray drool over the rest of the audience.
Exquisitely written, temperate and yet surprising in strength.
The only thing better would be to hear you read it aloud.