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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. Chillon ! thy prison is a holy place,

And thy sad floor an altar,- for 't was 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.


My hair is gray, but not with years ;

it white
In a single night,
As men's have grown from suddeń 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 banned and barred, forbidden fare:
But this was for my father's faith
I suffered chains and courted death;
That father perished at the stake
For tenets he would not forsake;
And for the same his lineal race
In darkness found a dwelling-place;
We were seven, who now are one, -

Six in youth, and one in age,
Finished as they had begun,

Proud of Persecution's rage ;
One in fire, and two in field,
Their belief with blood have sealed,

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 mould
In Chillon's dungeons deep and old,
There are seven columns, massy and

Dim with a dull imprisoned ray,
A sunbeam which hath lost its way,
And through the crevice and the cleft
Of the thick wall is fallen and left,
Creeping o'er the floor so damp,
Like a marsh's meteor lamp :
And in each pillar there is a ring,

And in each ring there is a chain ;
That iron is a cankering thing,

For in these limbs its teeth remain,
With marks that will not wear away,
Till I have done with this new day,
Which now is painful to these eyes,
Which have not seen the sun so rise
For years, - I cannot count them o'er,
I lost their long and heavy score
When my last brother drooped and died,
And I lay living by his side.


They chained us each to a column stone,
And we were three,

yet each alone :
We could not move a single pace,
We could not see each other's face,
But with that pale and livid light
That made us strangers in our sight.



And thus together, yet apart,
Fettered in hand, but pined in heart,
'T was still some solace, in the dearth
Of the pure elements of earth,
To hearken to each other's speech,
And each turn comforter to each
With some new hope, or legend old,
Or song heroically bold;
But even these at length grew cold.
Our voices took a dreary tone,
An echo of the dungeon-stone,

A grating sound, not full and free,
As they of yore were wont to be ;

It might be fancy, — but to me
They never sounded like our own.


I was the eldest of the three,

And, to uphold and cheer the rest,

I ought to do, and did, my best,
And each did well in his degree.
youngest, whom


father loved, Because our mother's brow was given To him, with eyes as blue as heaven,

For him my soul was sorely moved ;
And truly might it be distressed
To see such bird in such a nest ;
For he was beautiful as day,

(When day was beautiful to me
As to young eagles, being free,) -

A polar day, which will not see
A sunset till its summer 's gone,

Its sleepless summer of long light, The snow-clad offspring of the sun:

And thus he was as pure and bright, And in his natural spirit gay,

With tears for naught but others' ills,
And then they flowed like mountain rills,
Unless he could assuage the woe
Which he abhorred to view below.

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The other was as pure of mind,
But formed to combat with his kind;
Strong in his frame, and of a mood
Which 'gainst the world in war had stood,
And perished in the foremost rank

With joy :- but not in chains to pine ; His spirit withered with their clank,

I saw it silently decline,

And so perchance in sooth did mine ; But yet I forced it on to cheer Those relics of a home so dear. He was a hunter of the hills,

Had followed there the deer and wolf;

To him this dungeon was a gulf, And fettered feet the worst of ills.


Lake Leman lies by Chillon's walls, A thousand feet in depth below, Its massy waters meet and flow; Thus much the fathom-line was sent From Chillon's snow-white battlement,

Which round about the wave enthralls : A double dungeon wall and wave Have made, — and like a living grave. Below the surface of the lake The dark vault lies wherein we lay, We heard it ripple night and day;



Sounding o'er our heads it knocked; And I have felt the winter's spray Wash through the bars, when winds were high And wanton in the happy sky;

And then the very rock hath rocked,

And I have felt it shake, unshocked,
Because I could have smiled to see
The death that would have set me free.


I said my nearer brother pined,
I said his mighty heart declined,
He loathed and put away his food;
It was not that 't was coarse and rude,
For we were used to hunter's fare,
And for the like had little care :
The milk drawn from the mountain goat
Was changed for water from the moat;
Our bread was such as captives' tears
Have moistened many a thousand years,
Since man first pent his fellow-men
Like brutes within an iron den :
But what were these to us or him?
These wasted not his heart or limb;
My brother's soul was of that mould
Which in a palace had grown cold,
Had his free breathing been denied

range of the steep mountain's side: But why delay the truth ? he died.

and could not hold his head, Nor reach his dying hand,

nor dead; Though hard I strove, but strove in vain, To rend and gnash my bonds in twain. He died, - and they unlocked his chain, And scooped for him a shallow grave Even from the cold earth of our cave.

I saw,

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