Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, AWAKENING OF ENDYMION, by LETITIA ELIZABETH LANDON



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AWAKENING OF ENDYMION, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Lone upon a mountain, the pine-trees wailing round him
Last Line: Like that youth to night's fair queen!
Alternate Author Name(s): L. E. L.; Maclean, Letitia
Subject(s): Endymion


LONE upon a mountain, the pine-trees wailing round him,
Lone upon a mountain the Grecian youth is laid;
Sleep, mystic sleep, for many a year has bound him,
Yet his beauty, like a statue's pale and fair, is undecay'd.
When will he awaken?
When will he awaken? a loud voice hath been crying
Night after night, and the cry has been in vain;
Winds, woods, and waves, found echoes for replying,
But the tones of the beloved one were never heard again.
When will he awaken?
Ask'd the midnight's silver queen.

Never mortal eye has looked upon his sleeping;
Parents, kindred, comrades, have mourned for him as dead;
By day the gathered clouds have had him in their keeping.
And at night the solemn shadows round his rest are shed.
When will he awaken?
Long has been the cry of faithful Love's imploring,
Long has Hope been watching with soft eyes fixed above;
When will the Fates, the life of life restoring,
Own themselves vanquished by much-enduring love?
When will he awaken?
Asks the midnight's weary queen.

Beautiful the sleep that she has watch'd untiring,
Lighted up with visions from yonder radiant sky,
Full of an immortal's glorious inspiring,
Softened by the woman's meek and loving sigh,
When will he awaken?
He has been dreaming of old heroic stories,
The poet's passionate world has entered in his soul;
He has grown conscious of life's ancestral glories,
When sages and when kings first uphold the mind's control.
When will he awaken?
Ask'd midnight's stately queen.

Lo! the appointed midnight! the present hour is fated;
It is Endymion's planet that rises on the air;
How long, how tenderly his goddess love has waited,
Waited with a love too mighty for despair.
Soon he will awaken!
Soft amid the pines is a sound as if of singing,
Tones that seem the lute's from the breathing flowers depart;
Not a wind that wanders o'er Mount Latmos, but is bringing
Music that is murmur'd from nature's inmost heart.
Soon he will awaken,
To his and midnight's queen!

Lovely is the green earth -- she knows the hour is holy;
Starry are the heavens, lit with eternal joy;
Light like their own is dawning sweet and slowly
O'er the fair and sculptured forehead of that yet dreaming boy.
Soon he will awaken!
Red as the red rose towards the morning turning,
Warms the youth's lip to the watcher's near his own,
While the dark eyes open, bright, intense, and burning
With a life more glorious than ere they closed was known.
Yes, he has awakened
For the midnight's happy queen!

What is this old history but a lesson given,
How true love still conquers by the deep strength of truth,
How all the impulses, whose native home is heaven,
Sanctify the visions of hope, faith, and youth.
'Tis for such they waken!
When every worldly thought is utterly forsaken,
Comes the starry midnight, felt by life's gifted few;
Then will the spirit from its earthly sleep awaken
To a being more intense, more spiritual and true.
So doth the soul awaken,
Like that youth to night's fair queen!





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