« PreviousContinue »
Thou glorious mirror, where the Almighty's form Glasses itself in tempests: in all time, Calm or convulsed—in breeze, or gale, or storm, Icing the pole, or in the torrid clime Dark-heaving;—boundless, endless, and sublime— The image of Eternity—the throne Of the Invisible; even from out thy slime The monsters of the deep are made; each zone Obeys thee; thou goest forth, dread, fathomless, alone.
And I have loved thee, Ocean! and my joy
My task is done—my song hath ceased—my theme Has died into an echo: it is fit The spell should break of this protracted dream. The torch shall be extinguish'd which hath lit My midnight lamp, and what is writ, is writ— Would it were worthier! but I am not now That which I have been—and my visions flit Less palpably before me—and the glow Which in my spirit dwelt is fluttering, faint, and low.
Farewell! a word that must be, and hath been— A sound which makes us linger;—yet, farewell! Ye, who have traced the Pilgrim to the scene Which is his last, if in your memories dwell A thought which once was his, if on ye swell A single recollection, not in vain He wore his sandal-shoon and scallop-shell; Farewell! with him alone may rest the pain, If such there were—with you, the moral of his strain. THE PRISONER OF CHILLON
1816 SONNET ON CHILLON
Eternal Spirit of the chainless Mind!
Brightest in dungeons, Liberty! thou art,
For there thy habitation is the heart— The heart which love of thee alone can bind; And when thy sons to fetters are consign'd— To fetters, and the damp vault's dayless gloom,
Their country conquers with their martyrdom, And Freedom's fame finds wings on every wind. Chillon! thy prison is a holy place,
And thy sad floor an altar—for 'twas trod, Until his very steps have left a trace
Worn, as if thy cold pavement were a sod, By Bonnivard! May none those marks efface!
For they appeal from tyranny to God.
THE PRISONER OF CHILLON
My hair is gray, but not with years;
But rusted with a vile repose,
Six in youth, and one in age,
Proud of Persecution's rage;
There are seven pillars of Gothic mould,
And in each ring there is a chain;
For in these limbs its teeth remain, With marks that will not wear away, Jil) I have done with this new day,
Which now is painful to these eyes,
They chain'd us each to a column stone,
I was the eldest of the three;And to uphold and cheer the rest