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

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As a fond mother, when the day is o'er,
   Leads by the hand her little child to bed,
   Half willing, half reluctant to be led,
   And leave his broken playthings on the floor,
Still gazing at them through the open door,
   Nor wholly reassured and comforted
   By promises of others

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What the Heart of the Young Man Said to the Psalmist

Tell me not, in mournful numbers,
   "Life is but an empty dream!"
For the soul is dead that slumbers,
   And things are not what they seem.
   
Life is real! Life is earnest!
   And the grave is not its goal;
"Dust thou art, to dust
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The holiest of all holidays are those
    Kept by ourselves in silence and apart;
    The secret anniversaries of the heart,
    When the full river of feeling overflows;—
The happy days unclouded to their close;
    The sudden joys that out of darkness start
    As flames from ashes;