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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 deem'd 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,
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.


A kind of change came in my fate,
My keepers grew compassionate,
I know not what had made them so,
They were inured to sights of wo,
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;

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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 crush'd heart fell blind and sick.


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,
The quiet of a loving eye.


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 channel'd rock and broken bush;
I saw the white-wall'd distant town,
And whiter sails go skimming down;
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 seem'd joyous each and all:
The eagle rode the rising blast,
Methought he never flew so fast
As then to me he seem'd 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.


It might be months, or years, or days,
I kept no count-I took no note,
I had no hope my eyes to raise,

And clear them of their dreary mote; At last men came to set me free,

I ask'd not why, and reck'd not where, It was at length the same to me, Fetter'd or fetterless to be,

I learn'd to love despair.

And thus when they appear'd at last,
And all my bonds aside were cast,
These heavy walls to me had grown
A hermitage-and all my own!
And half I felt as they were come
To tear me from a second home:
With spiders I had friendship made,
And watch'd them in their sullen trade,
Had seen the mice by moonlight play,
And why should I feel less than they?
We were all inmates of one place,
And I, the monarch of each race,
Had power to kill—yet, strange to tell!
In quiet we had learn'd to dwell-
My very chains and I grew friends,
So much a long communion tends
To make us what we are:-even I
Regain'd my freedom with a sigh.




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Note 1, page 49, line 13.

By Bonnivard!-may none those marks efface. François de Bonnivard, fils de Louis de Bonnivard, originaire de Seyssel & Seigneur de Lunes, naquit en 1496; il fit ses études à Turin: en 1510 Jean Aimé de Bonnivard, son oncle, lui resigna le Prieuré de St. Victor, qui aboutissoit aux murs de Geneve, & qui formait un benefice considerable.

Ce grand homme (Bonnivard mérite ce titre par la force de son âme, la droiture de son cœur, la noblesse de ses intentions, la sagesse de ses conseils, le courage de ses démarches, l'étendue de ses connaissances & la vivacité de son esprit,) ce grand homme, qui excitera l'admiration de tous ceux qu'une vertu héroïque peut encore émouvoir, inspirera encore la plus vive reconnaissance dans les cœurs des Genevois qui aiment Geneve. Bonnivard en fut toujours un des plus fermes appuis pour assurer la liberté de nôtre République, il ne craignit pas de perdre souvent la sienne; oublia son repos;

il méprisa ses richesses; il ne négligea rien

pour affermir le

bonheur d'une patrie qu'il honora de son choix: dès ce moment il la chérit comme le plus zèlé de ses citoyens; il la servit avec l'intrépidité d'un héros, et il écrivit son Histoire avec la naïveté d'un philosophe & la chaleur d'un patriote.

Il dit dans le commencement de son histoire de Geneve, que, dès qu'il eut commencé de lire l'histoire des nations, it sa sentit entraîné par son goût pour les Républiques, dont il épou

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