Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807–1882). Complete Poetical Works. 1893.

A Book of Sonnets


THE YOUNG Endymion sleeps Endymion’s sleep;

The shepherd-boy whose tale was left half told!

The solemn grove uplifts its shield of gold

To the red rising moon, and loud and deep

The nightingale is singing from the steep;

It is midsummer, but the air is cold;

Can it be death? Alas, beside the fold

A shepherd’s pipe lies shattered near his sheep.

Lo! in the moonlight gleams a marble white,

On which I read: “Here lieth one whose name

Was writ in water.” And was this the meed

Of his sweet singing? Rather let me write:

“The smoking flax before it burst to flame

Was quenched by death, and broken the bruised reed.”