“And when the sixth hour was come, there was darkness over the whole land until the ninth hour.”
An eclipse, right ? It sounds so fine,
Especially when we learn of one,
A total seen in ’29.
Alas, we now can calculate
Down to the nearest minute
And the nearest mile its fate –
And this one was November,
And only nine-tenths partial there –
The dark was still a glowing ember.
The near-miss of ’29 –
The sky was dim, the air was chill,
But the Sun could still outshine.
An hour or two round noon –
All build-up with no climax, though,
Then over far too soon.
And anyway, it just won’t do –
For Passover was always held
When the Moon was full, not new.
But what about a Lunar one ?
There’s one in April ’33,
At sunset too – job done !
Except…it’s partial, still quite bright,
And it didn’t last an hour in all,
And the only darkness comes with night.
Some suggest volcanic ash instead –
Though that would last for weeks, and stretch
Throughout the Eastern Med.
Maybe just a heavy storm ?
The legend doesn’t mention rain,
But thunderheads might fit the form.
And yet…is that the best that God
Can rustle up ? A gloomy afternoon ?
His climax barely gets a nod.
We’re better off with desert dust –
When heavy in the atmosphere
It tints the Moon with rust.
But as the moon sails higher,
So the dust is less through which we peer –
So this one’s not a flyer.
And anyway, how come
There was no-one else wrote down the fact
Of what should strike them dumb ?
Three full hours of dark,
Before the sun had even set ?
Now that should leave its mark !
In our hearts, we know the score –
The sky did not go dark that day.
The world still turned, just as before.