The Adventures of Tom Bombadil, VI: The Man in the Moon Came Down Too Soon

This is the second poem about the Man in the Moon, also in this one, things are a bit out of control for him when he visits the world, seeking pleasures. According to the preface to the book, the poem is derived from Gondor, based on traditions of men, but here composed by hobbits. There have been many variations of this poem, the earliest being written in 1915. Some of the themes occurs in several of Tolkiens stories, such as the aspect of a Man in the Moon. 

The Man in the Moon wearing all silver and grey opened an invory door. He was merry to be free, because he had grown tired of white diamonds and was lusting for adventure. He was determed to do anything for some colourful gemstones, or gold, anything that was not so bleak: fire, red, sunrise, and seas of blue, forests green, song, laughter, wine and good food.

He tripped on his stair and fell, like a meteorite, down into the ocean in the winy Bay of Bel one night ere Yule. A fisherman’s boat found him and help him into land, against his wish. They told him to go find an inn. He saw no fire lit, it was cold and damp, and no breakfast to be found. He did not meet anyone or did hear anyone sing. He only heard snores of people sleeping.

He knocked on doors and called, until he at last found an inn with a faint light within. A cook took him in and asked what he wished. The Man in the Moon said he wanted fire, gold, songs of old, and wine! The Cook said that they could not offer him there. The Man in the Moon got a portion of old, cold porridge to eat.

Characters to note:

  • The Man in the Moon – An old being who lives on the moon according to hobbit folklore.
  • The Fishermen – They found Man in the Moon in the sea.
  • The Cook – Took in Man in the Moon to the inn and offered him porridge.

Features/Places to note:

  • Yule – Sort of a christmas celebration.
  • Bay of Bel – The Bay of Belfalas, lying south of Gondor.


This was also one of the easier poems to follow. I think it does capture a sense of irony, that while the Man in the Moon had his riches, and became greedy after more, only did experience the cold, dark, and general unpleasantness because he did reach to get more riches and lavish pleasures. It also teches a moral: to be happy with what you have and that the hunt for more might cause you to loose some of the things you already have.

Have you read this poem?  Please comment and tell us what you think of this story and if you have anything to add!


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