poem index

sign up to receive a new poem-a-day in your inbox

occasions

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 thou stayed so long!”

This poem is in the public domain. 

This poem is in the public domain. 

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, one of the "Fireside Poets," wrote lyrical poems about history, mythology, and legend that were popular and widely translated, making him the most famous American of his day. 

by this poet

poem
This is the forest primeval. The murmuring pines and the hemlocks,
Bearded with moss, and in garments green, indistinct in the twilight,
Stand like Druids of old, with voices sad and prophetic,
Stand like harpers hoar, with beards that rest on their bosoms.
Loud from its rocky caverns, the deep-voiced
poem
Out of the bosom of the Air,
    Out of the cloud-folds of her garments shaken,
Over the woodlands brown and bare,
    Over the harvest-fields forsaken,
      Silent, and soft, and slow
      Descends the snow.

Even as our cloudy fancies take
    Suddenly shape in some divine expression,
Even as the troubled
poem
Between the dark and the daylight,
   When the night is beginning to lower,
Comes a pause in the day's occupations,
   That is known as the Children's Hour.

I hear in the chamber above me
   The patter of little feet,
The sound of a door that is opened,
   And voices soft and sweet.

From my study I see in the