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Page:The Works of Lord Byron (ed. Coleridge, Prothero) - Volume 4.djvu/33

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SONNET ON CHILLON.

Eternal Spirit of the chainless Mind![1]
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 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 'twas 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.[2]


  1. [In the first draft, the sonnet opens thus—

    "Belovéd Goddess of the chainless mind!
    Brightest in dungeons, Liberty! thou art,
    Thy palace is within the Freeman's heart,
    Whose soul the love of thee alone can bind;
    And when thy sons to fetters are consign'd—
    To fetters, and the damp vault's dayless gloom,
    Thy joy is with them still, and unconfined,
    Their country conquers with their martyrdom."

    Ed. 1832.]

  2. [Compare—

    "I appeal from her [sc. Florence] to Thee."

    Proph. of Dante, Canto I. line 125.]