Verse > Oscar Wilde > Poems

Oscar Wilde (1854–1900).  Poems.  1881.

30. Endymion


THE apple trees are hung with gold, 
  And birds are loud in Arcady, 
The sheep lie bleating in the fold, 
The wild goat runs across the wold, 
But yesterday his love he told,         5
  I know he will come back to me. 
O rising moon! O Lady moon! 
  Be you my lover’s sentinel, 
  You cannot choose but know him well, 
For he is shod with purple shoon,  10
You cannot choose but know my love, 
  For he a shepherd’s crook doth bear, 
And he is soft as any dove, 
  And brown and curly is his hair. 
The turtle now has ceased to call  15
  Upon her crimson-footed groom, 
The grey wolf prowls about the stall, 
The lily’s singing seneschal 
Sleeps in the lily-bell, and all 
  The violet hills are lost in gloom.  20
O risen moon! O holy moon! 
  Stand on the top of Helice, 
  And if my own true love you see, 
Ah! if you see the purple shoon, 
The hazel crook, the lad’s brown hair,  25
  The goat-skin wrapped about his arm, 
Tell him that I am waiting where 
  The rushlight glimmers in the Farm. 
The falling dew is cold and chill, 
  And no bird sings in Arcady,  30
The little fauns have left the hill, 
Even the tired daffodil 
Has closed its gilded doors, and still 
  My lover comes not back to me. 
False moon! False moon! O waning moon!  35
  Where is my own true lover gone, 
  Where are the lips vermilion, 
The shepherd’s crook, the purple shoon? 
Why spread that silver pavilion, 
  Why wear that veil of drifting mist?  40
Ah! thou hast young Endymion, 
  Thou hast the lips that should be kissed! 



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