Page images
PDF
EPUB

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 consigned—
To fetters, and the damp vault's dayless gloom,
Their country conquers with their martyrdom,

And Freedom's fame finds wings on every- wind.

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 consigned—
To fetters, and the damp vault's dayless gloom,
Their country conquers with their martyrdom,

And Freedom's same finds wings on every wind.

[ocr errors][ocr errors]

Chillon! thy prison is a holy place,
And thy sad floor an altar—for 'twas trod,

Until his very steps have left a trace
Worm, as if thy cold pavement were a sod,

By Bonnivard'—May none those marks efface:
For they appeal from tyranny to God.

[ocr errors][merged small][merged small]

I.

My hair is grey, but not with years,
Nor grew it white
In a single night,2

As men's have grown from sudden fears:
My limbs are bowed, though not with toil,

But rusted with a vile repose,
For they have been a dungeon's spoil,

And mine has been the fate of those
To whom the goodly earth and air
Are bann'd, and barr'd—forbidden fare; 10

But this was for my father's faith
I suffered chains and courted deatli;

« PreviousContinue »