Verse > Anthologies > James and Mary Ford, eds. > Every Day in the Year
James and Mary Ford, eds.  Every Day in the Year.  1902.
July 31
Sir Walter Raleigh to a Caged Linnet
By Eugene Lee Hamilton (1845–1907)
          Raleigh was imprisoned in the Tower, July 31, 1603.

THOU tiny solace of these prison days,
Too long already have I kept thee here;
With every week thou hast become more dear—
So dear that I will free thee: fly thy ways.
Man, the alternate slave and tyrant, lays        5
Too soon on others what he has to bear.
Thy cage is in my cage; but, never fear,
The sun once more shall bathe thee with its rays.
Fly forth, and tell the sunny woods how oft
I think of them, and stretch my limbs in thought        10
Upon their fragrant mosses green and soft;
And whistle all the whistlings God hath taught
Thy throat, to other songsters high aloft—
Not to a captive who can answer naught.

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