1971

Two men walked on the surface of the moon.
Others will, later. What are words to do?
And what of the dreams and fashionings of art
before this real, almost unreal, event?
Heady with daring and with holy dread,
those sons of Whitman now have left their print
on the moon's wasteland, the unviolated
prehuman sphere, changing and permanent.
The love of Endymion in his mountain vigil,
the hippogriff, the curious sphere of Wells,
which in my memory is real and true,
now all take substance. Triumph belongs to all.
Today there is not a single man on earth
who does not feel more confident, more sure.
The unforgettable day thrills with new force
from the single rightness of the odyssey
of those benign magicians. The moon,
which earthly love still seeks out in the sky
with sorrowing face and still-unslaked desire,
will be its monument, everlasting, one.
Jorge Luis Borges, translated by Alastair Reid.