Home  »  Complete Poetical Works by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow  »  Sonnets. The Evening Star

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

The Belfry of Bruges and Other Poems

Sonnets. The Evening Star

  • “October 30, 1845. The Indian summer still in its glory. Wrote the sonnet Hesperus in the rustic seat of the old apple-tree.” This sonnet, addressed to his wife, and afterward given its present title, “is noticeable,” says his biographer, “as being the only love-poem among Mr. Longfellow’s verses.”

  • LO! in the painted oriel of the West,

    Whose panes the sunken sun incarnadines,

    Like a fair lady at her casement, shines

    The evening star, the star of love and rest!

    And then anon she doth herself divest

    Of all her radiant garments, and reclines

    Behind the sombre screen of yonder pines,

    With slumber and soft dreams of love oppressed.

    O my beloved, my sweet Hesperus!

    My morning and my evening star of love!

    My best and gentlest lady! even thus,

    As that fair planet in the sky above,

    Dost thou retire unto thy rest at night,

    And from thy darkened window fades the light.