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I saw the glimmer of the sun .
Creeping as it before had done,
But through the crevice where it came
That bird was perch'd, as fond and tame,

And tamer than upon the tree;
A lovely bird, with azure wings,
And song that said a thousand things,

And seenid to say them all for me! 270
I never saw its like before,
I ne'er shall see its likeness more:
It seem'd like me to want a mate,
But was not half so desolate,
And it was come to love me when
None lived to love me so again,
And cheering from my dungeon's brink,
Had brought me back to feel and think.
I know not if it late were free,

Or broke its cage to perch on mine, 280 But knowing well captivity, . .

Sweet bird! I could not wish for thine!
Or if it were, in winged guise,
A visitant from Paradise;

For—Heaven forgive that thought! the while

Which made me both to weep and smile;

I sometimes deemed that it might be

My brother's soul come down to me;

But then at last away it flew,

And then 'twas mortal—well I knew, 290

For he would never thus have flown,

And left me twice so doubly lone,—

Lone—as the corse within its shroud,

Lone—as a solitary cloud,

A single cloud on a sunny day,
While all the rest of heaven is clear,
A frown upon the atmosphere,
That hath no business to appear

When skies are blue, and earth is gay.

XI.

A kind of change came in my fate, 800

My keepers grew compassionate,

I know not what had made them so,

They were inured to sights of woe,

But so it was:—my broken chain

With links unfasten'd did remain,

And it was liberty to stride
Along my cell from side to side,
And up and down, and then athwart,
And tread it over every part;
And round the pillars one by one,
Returning where my walk begun,
Avoiding only, as I trod,
My brothers' graves without a sod;
For if I thought with heedless tread
My step profaned their lowly bed,
My breath came gaspingly and thick,
And my crushed heart fell blind and sick.

XII.

I made a footing in the wall,
It was not therefrom to escape,

For I had buried one and all,

Who loved me in a human shape;

And the whole earth would henceforth be

A wider prison unto me:

No child—no sire—no kin had I,

No partner in my misery;

I thought of this, and I was glad,

For thought of them had made me mad;

But I was curious to ascend

To my barr'd windows, and to bend

Once more, upon the mountains high, 330

The quiet of a loving eye.

XIII.

I saw them—and they were the same,

They were not changed like me in frame;

I saw their thousand years of snow

On high—their wide long lake below,

And the blue Rhone in fullest flow;

I heard the torrents leap and gush

O'er channeled rock and broken bush;

I saw the white-walTd distant town,

And whiter sails go skimming down; 340

And then there was a little isle,4

Which in my very face did smile,

The only one in view;
A small green isle, it seem'd no more,
Scarce broader than my dungeon floor,
But in it there were three tall trees,
And o'er it blew the mountain breeze,
And by it there were waters flowing,
And on it there were young flowers growing,

Of gentle breath and hue.
The fish swam by the castle wall,
And they seemed joyous each and all;
The eagle rode the rising blast,
Methought he never flew so fast
As then to me he seemed to fly,
And then new tears came in my eye,
And I felt troubled—and would fain
I had not left my recent chain;
And when I did descend again,
The darkness of my dim abode
Fell on me as a heavy load;
It was as is a new-dug grave,
Closing o'er one we sought to save,
And yet my glance, too much opprest,
Had almost need of such a rest.

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