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 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.
Rousseau—Voltaire—our Gibbon—and de Staël—
Leman! these names are worthy of thy shore,
Thy shore of names like these! wert thou no more,
Their memory thy remembrance would recall:
To them thy banks were lovely as to all,
But they have made them lovelier, for the lore
Of mighty minds doth hallow in the core
Of human hearts the ruin of a wall
Where dwelt the wise and wondrous; but by thee
How much more, Lake of Beauty! do we feel,
In sweetly gliding o'er thy crystal sea,
The wild glow of that not ungentle zeal,
Which of the heirs of immortality
Is proud, and makes the breath of glory real!
John Keats's first published poem, like Wordsworth's, was a sonnet: “To Soli-
tude” appeared in John and Leigh Hunt's newpaper, the Examiner, in 1816.
Keats continued to write sonnets throughout his short career, variously ex-
perimenting with new forms and practicing old ones. Keats's sonnets are
lush, impassioned and psychological, informed by a sense of the poet's own
short lifespan troped by the brief duration of the form itself. His long, ornate
early poem “Endymion” (1818) inspired savage reviews. He wrote his finest
poems, including “The Eve of St. Agnes, ” “Lamia, ” “La Belle Dame sans