For he was beautiful as day—
(When day was beautiful to me80
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 nought but others' ills,
And then they flow'd like mountain rills,
Unless he could assuage the woe90
Which he abhorred to view below.
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 perish'd 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:100
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;
"Those polar summers, all sun, and some ice."
Don Juan, Canto XII. stanza lxxii. line 8.]