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SONNET ON CHILLON.
ETERNAL spirit of the chainless mind!
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,
Worn, as if thy cold pavement were a sod,
PRISONER OF CHILLON.
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,
For they have been a dungeon's spoil,
To whom the goodly earth and air
But this was for my father's faith
I suffered chains and courted death;
That father perish'd at the stake
In darkness found a dwelling-place;
Proud of Persecution's rage;
One in fire, and two in field,
Their belief with blood have seal'd;
Dying as their father died,
For the God their foes denied';
Three were in a dungeon cast,
Of whom this wreck is left the last.
There are seven pillars of gothic mold,
A sunbeam which hath lost its way,
Of the thick wall is fallen and left;
Creeping o'er the floor so damp,
When my last brother droop'd and died,
They chain'd us each to a column stone,