Original Text: 
The Poetical Works of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, with Bibliographical and Critical Notes, Riverside Edition (Boston and New York: Houghton, Mifflin, 1890), III, 201-02. PS 2250 E90 Robarts Library.
2    The shepherd-boy whose tale was left half told!
3    The solemn grove uplifts its shield of gold
4    To the red rising moon, and loud and deep
6    It is midsummer, but the air is cold;
7    Can it be death? Alas, beside the fold
8    A shepherd's pipe lies shattered near his sheep.
9Lo! in the moonlight gleams a marble white,
11    Was writ in water." And was this the meed
12Of his sweet singing? Rather let me write:
14    Was quenched by death, and broken the bruised reed."


1] See Keats' poem Endymion, which tells of a youth searching for beauty who is rewarded by the moon goddess with unending sleep. Longfellow associates Keats with his own subject. Back to Line
10] The epitaph Keats wrote for himself. Back to Line
13] Isaiah 42.3: "A bruised reed shall he not break, and the smoking flax shall he not quench: he shall bring forth judgment unto truth." Back to Line
Publication Start Year: 
Publication Notes: 
In The Masque of Pandora
RPO poem Editors: 
Ian Lancashire
RPO Edition: 
RPO 1998.