Sonnet on Chillon

By Willie Daniels,2014-06-15 21:08
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Sonnet on Chillonon,On

    Sonnet on Chillon

    Lord George Gordon Byron

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 altarfor 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.


     Percy Bysshe Shelly

    I met a traveler from an antique land,

     Who said----"Two vast and trunkless legs of stone

     Stand in the desert...Near them, on the sand,

     Half sunk, a shattered visage lies, whose frown,

     And wrinked lip, and sneer of cold command,


     Tell that its sculptor well those passions read

     Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,

     The hand that mocked them, and the heart, that fed;

     And on the pedestal, these words appear:

     "My name is Ozymandias, King of Kings,

     Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!"

     Nothing besides remains. Round the decay

     Of that colossal Wreck, boundless and bare

     The lone and level sands stretch faraway.”

    To a Skylark

    Percy Bysshe Shelley

    HAIL to thee, blithe spirit!

     Bird thou never wert

     That from heaven or near it

     Pourest thy full heart

    In profuse strains of unpremeditated art. 5

     Higher still and higher

     From the earth thou springest,

     Like a cloud of fire;

     The blue deep thou wingest,

    And singing still dost soar, and soaring ever singest. 10

     In the golden light'ning

     Of the sunken sun,

     O'er which clouds are bright'ning,

     Thou dost float and run,

    Like an unbodied joy whose race is just begun. 15


     The pale purple even

     Melts around thy flight;

     Like a star of heaven,

     In the broad daylight Thou art unseen, but yet I hear thy shrill delight 20

     Keen as are the arrows

     Of that silver sphere

     Whose intense lamp narrows

     In the white dawn clear, Until we hardly see, we feel that it is there. 25

     All the earth and air

     With thy voice is loud,

     As when night is bare,

     From one lonely cloud The moon rains out her beams, and heaven is overflow'd. 30

     What thou art we know not;

     What is most like thee?

     From rainbow clouds there flow not

     Drops so bright to see, As from thy presence showers a rain of melody: 35

     Like a poet hidden

     In the light of thought,


     Singing hymns unbidden,

     Till the world is wrought

    To sympathy with hopes and fears it heeded not: 40

     Like a high-born maiden

     In a palace tower,

     Soothing her love-laden

     Soul in secret hour

    With music sweet as love, which overflows her bower: 45

     Like a glow-worm golden

     In a dell of dew,

     Scattering unbeholden

     Its aërial hue

    Among the flowers and grass which screen it from the view: 50

     Like a rose embower'd

     In its own green leaves,

     By warm winds deflower'd,

     Till the scent it gives

    Makes faint with too much sweet those heavy-wingèd thieves. 55

     Sound of vernal showers

     On the twinkling grass,

     Rain-awaken'd flowers

     All that ever was

    Joyous and clear and freshthy music doth surpass. 60


     Teach us, sprite or bird,

     What sweet thoughts are thine:

     I have never heard

     Praise of love or wine

    That panted forth a flood of rapture so divine. 65

     Chorus hymeneal,

     Or triumphal chant,

     Match'd with thine would be all

     But an empty vaunt

    A thin wherein we feel there is some hidden want. 70

     What objects are the fountains

     Of thy happy strain?

     What fields, or waves, or mountains?

     What shapes of sky or plain? What love of thine own kind? what ignorance of pain? 75

     With thy clear keen joyance

     Languor cannot be:

     Shadow of annoyance

     Never came near thee:

    Thou lovest, but ne'er knew love's sad satiety. 80

     Waking or asleep,

     Thou of death must deem


     Things more true and deep

     Than we mortals dream,

    Or how could thy notes flow in such a crystal stream? 85

     We look before and after,

     And pine for what is not:

     Our sincerest laughter

     With some pain is fraught;

    Our sweetest songs are those that tell of saddest thought. 90

     Yet, if we could scorn

     Hate and pride and fear,

     If we were things born

     Not to shed a tear,

    I know not how thy joy we ever should come near. 95

     Better than all measures

     Of delightful sound,

     Better than all treasures

     That in books are found,

    Thy skill to poet were, thou scorner of the ground! 100

     Teach me half the gladness

     That thy brain must know;

     Such harmonious madness

     From my lips would flow,

    The world should listen then, as I am listening now.


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