Felicia Hemans in Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine Volume 31 1832/The Free'd Bird

For other versions of this work, see The Freed Bird.

Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, Volume 31, Page 278



Return, return, my Bird!
    I have dress'd thy cage with flowers,
'Tis lovely as a violet bank
    In the heart of forest bowers.

"I am free, I am free, I return no more!
The weary time of the cage is o’er!
Through the rolling clouds I can soar on high,
The sky is around me, the blue bright sky!

"The hills lie beneath me, spread far and clear,
With their glowing heath-flowers and bounding deer;
I see the waves flash on the sunny shore—
I am free, I am free—I return no more!"

Alas, alas, my Bird!
    Why seek'st thou to be free?
Wer’t thou not blest in thy little bower,
    When thy song breathed nought but glee?

"Did my song of the summer breathe nought but glee?
Did the voice of the captive seem sweet to thee?
—O! hadst thou known its deep meaning well,
It had tales of a burning heart to tell!

"From a dream of the forest that music sprang,
Through its notes the peal of a torrent rang;
And its dying fall, when it sooth'd thee best,
Sigh'd for wild flowers and a leafy nest."

Was it with thee thus, my Bird?
    Yet thine eye flash'd clear and bright!
I have seen the glance of sudden joy
    In its quick and dewy light.

"It flash'd with the fire of a tameless race,
With the soul of the wild wood, my native place!
With the spirit that panted through heaven to soar—
Woo me not back—I return no more!

"My home is high, amidst rocking trees,
My kindred things are the star and the breeze,
And the fount uncheck'd in its lonely play,
And the odours that wander afar, away!"

Farewell, farewell, then, Bird!
    I have call'd on spirits gone,
And it may be they joy'd like thee to part,
Like thee, that wert all my own!

"If they were captives, and pined like me,
Though love may guard them, they joy'd to be free!
They sprang from the earth with a burst of power,
To the strength of their wings, to their triumph's hour!"

"Call them not back when the chain is riven,
When the way of the pinion is all through heaven!
Farewell!—With my song through the clouds I soar,
I pierce the blue skies—I am Earth's no more!"