The Prisoner


    I count the dismal time by months and years
    Since last I felt the green sward under foot,
    And the great breath of all things summer
    Met mine upon my lips. Now earth appears
    As strange to me as dreams of distant spheres
    Or thoughts of Heaven we weep at. Nature's lute
    Sounds on, behind this door so closely shut,
    A strange wild music to the prisoner's ears,
    Dilated by the distance, till the brain
    Grows dim with fancies which it feels too
    While ever, with a visionary pain,
    Past the precluded senses, sweep and Rhine
    Streams, forests, glades, and many a golden train
    Of sunlit hills transfigured to Divine.


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