xml/lby.00013.xml Icons of Liberty: "Sonnet on Chillon"

Lord Byron , "Sonnet on Chillon," (c. 1816)

Transcribed from page 138 of the 1837 John Murray edition of Byron's Works.


  • ETERNAL Spirit of the chainless Mind!
  • 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 consign'd—
  • 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 't was rod,
  • 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.

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