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Poem-a-Day is the original and only daily digital poetry series featuring over 200 new, previously unpublished poems by today's talented poets each year. On weekdays, poems are accompanied by exclusive commentary by the poets. The series highlights classic poems on weekends. Launched in 2006, Poem-a-Day is now distributed via email, web, and social media to 350,000+ readers free of charge and is available for syndication by King Features.

Endymion

About this Poem 

“Endymion” was published in Ballads and Other Poems (John Owen, 1841). 

Endymion

The rising moon has hid the stars;
Her level rays, like golden bars,
       Lie on the landscape green,
       With shadows brown between.

And silver white the river gleams,
As if Diana, in her dreams,
       Had dropt her silver bow
       Upon the meadows low.

On such a tranquil night as this,
She woke Endymion with a kiss,
       When, sleeping in the grove,
       He dreamed not of her love.

Like Dian’s kiss, unasked, unsought,
Love gives itself, but is not bought;
       Her voice, nor sound betrays
       Its deep, impassioned gaze.

It comes,—the beautiful, the free,
The crown of all humanity,—
       In silence and alone
       To seek the elected one.

It lifts the boughs, whose shadows deep,
Are Life’s oblivion, the soul’s sleep,
       And kisses the closed eyes
       Of him, who slumbering lies.

O, weary hearts! O, slumbering eyes!
O, drooping souls, whose destinies
       Are fraught with fear and pain,
       Ye shall be loved again!

No one is so accursed by fate,
No one so utterly desolate,
       But some heart, though unknown,
       Responds unto his own.

Responds,—as if with unseen wings,
A breath from heaven had touched its strings
       And whispers, in its song,
      “Where hast though stayed so long!”

This poem is in the public domain. 

This poem is in the public domain. 

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