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And rush'd to him :-I found him not,
I only stirr'd in this black spot,
I only lived—I only drew
The accursed breath of dungeon dew :
The last-the sole—the dearest link
Between me and the eternal brink,
Which bound me to my falling race,
Was broken in this fatal place.
One on the earth, and one beneath-
My brothers—both had ceased to breathe ;
I took that hand which lay so still,
Alas ! my own was full as chill;
I had not strength to stir, or strive,
But felt that I was still alive-
A frantic feeling when we know
That what we love shall ne'er be so.

I know not why

I could not die,
I had no earthly hope--but faith,
And that forbade a selfish death.

IX.

What next befel me then and there

I know not well— I never knew
First came the loss of light, and air,

And then of darkness too :
I had no thought, no feeling-none-
Among the stones I stood a stone,
And was,

scarce conscious what I wist, As shrubless

crags

within the mist; For all was blank, and bleak, and grayIt was not night-it was not day, It was not even the dungeon-light, So hateful to my heavy sight, But vacancy absorbing space; And fixedness without a place : There were no stars—no earth-no timeNo check-no change—no good-no crime But silence, and a stirless breath Which neither was of life nor death ; A sea of stagnant idleness, Blind, boundless, mute, and motionless !

X.

A light broke in upon my brain,

It was the carol of a bird ;
It ceased, and then it came again,

The sweetest song ear ever heard:

And mine was thankful, till my eyes
Ran over with the glad surprise,
And they that moment could not see
I was the mate of misery.
But then by dull degrees came back
My senses to their wonted track :
I saw the dungeon walls and floor
Close slowly, round me as before ;
I saw the glimmer of the sun
Creeping as it before had done;
But through the crevice where it came
That bird was perch'd, as fond and tame,

And tamer than upon the tree;
A lovely bird, with azure wings,
And song that said a thousand things,

And seem'd to say them all for me!
I never saw its like before,
I ne'er shall see its likeness more :
It seem'd like me to want a mate,
But was not half so desolate;
And it was come to love me when
None lived to love me so again,
And cheering from my dungeon's brink,
Had brought me back to feel and think.
I know not if it late were free,

Or broke its cage to perch on mine,
But knowing well captivity,

Sweet bird ! I could not wish for thine !
Or if it were, in winged guise,
A visitant from Paradise ;
For-Heaven forgive that thought! the while
Which made me both to weep and smile-
I sometimes deem'd that it might be
My brother's soul come down to me;
But then at last

away
And then 't was mortal-well I knew,
For he would never thus have flown,
And left me twice so doubly lone,-
Lone—as the corse within its shroud,
Lone—as a solitary cloud,

A single cloud on a sunny day,
While all the rest of heaven is clear,
A frown upon the atmosphere,
That hath no business to appear
When skies are blue, and earth is gay.

XI.
A kind of change came in my fate,
My keepers grew compassionate;

it flew,

I know not what had made them so-
They were inured to sights of woe-
But so it was : my broken chain
With links unfasten'd did remain,
And it was liberty to stride
Along my cell from side to side,
And
up

and down, and then athwart,
And tread it over every part;
And round the pillars one by one,
Returning where my walk begun,
Avoiding only, as I trod,
My brothers' graves without a sod;
For if I thought with heedless tread
My step profaned their lowly bed,
My breath came gaspingly and thick,
And
my

crush'd heart fell blind and sick.

XII.

I made a footing in the wall-

It was not therefrom to escape, For I had buried one and all

Who loved me in a human shape, And the whole earth would henceforth be A wider prison unto me. No child-no sire--no kin hed I, No partner in my misery : I thought of this, and I was glad, For thought of them had made me mad. But I was curious to ascend To my barr'd windows, and to bend Once more upon the mountains high The quiet of a loving eye.

XIII.

I saw them—and they were the same, They were not changed like me in frame; I saw their thousand

years

of snow On high-their wide long lake below, And the blue Rhone in fullest flow : I heard the torrents leap and gush O'er channell'd rock and broken bush; I saw the white-wall'd distant town, And whiter sails go skimming down ; And then there was a little isle, 4 Which in my very face did smile,

The only one in view ; A small green isle, it seem'd no more, Scarce broader than my dungeon floor,

But in it there were three tall trees,
And o'er it blew the mountain breeze,
And by it. there were waters flowing,
And on it there were young flowers growing,

Of gentle breath and hue.
The fish swam by the castle wall,
And they seem'd joyous each and all :
The eagle rode the rising blast,
Methought he never flew so fast,
As then to me he seem'd to fly,
And then new tears came in my eye,
And I felt troubled—and would fain
I had not left my recent chain;
And when I did descend again,
The darkness of my dim abode
Fell on me as a heavy load;
It was as is a new-dug grave,
Closing o'er one we sought to save;
And yet my glance, too much opprest,
Had almost need of such a rest.

2

XIV.
It might be months, or years, or days,

I kept no count—I took no note,
I had no hope my eyes to raise

And clear them of their dreary mote;
At last men came to set me free,

I ask'd not why, and reck'd not where;
It was at length the same to me,
Fetter'd or fetterless to be-

I learn'd to love despair.
And thus when they appear'd at last,
And all my bonds aside were cast,
These heavy walls to me had grown
A hermitage and all my own!
And half I felt as they were come
To tear me from a second home :
With spiders I had friendship made,
And watch'd them in their sullen trade,
Had seen the mice by moonlight play,
And why should I feel less than they?
We were all inmates of one place,
And I, the monarch of each race,
Had

power to kill-yet, strange to tell !
In quiet we had learn'd to dwell:
My very chains and I

grew friends, So much a long communion tends To make us what we are :-eyen I Regain'd my freedom with a sigh.

NOTES.

Note 1. Page 356.

By Bonnivard !--may none those marks efface ! François de Bonnivard, fils de Louis de Bondivard, originaire de Seyssel et Seigneur de Lunes, naquit en 1496 ; il fit ses études à Turin. En 1510, Jean-Aimé de Bonnivard, son oncle, lui résigna le Prieuré de Saint-Victor, qui aboutissait aux murs de Genève, et qui formait un bénéfice considérable.

Ce grand homme (Bonnivard mérite ce titre par la force de son âme, la droiture de son cœur, la noblesse de ses intentions, la sagesse de ses conseils, le courage de ses démarches, l'étendue de ses connaissances, et la vivacité de son esprit), ce grand homme, qui excitera l'admiration de tous ceux qu'une vertu héroïque peut encore émouvoir, inspirera encore la plus vive reconnaissance dans les cours des Génevois qui aiment Genève. Bonnivard en fut toujours un des plus fermes appuis : pour assurer la liberté de notre république, il ne craignit pas de perdre souvent la sienne ; il oublia son repos; i méprisa ses richesses ; il ne négligea rien pour affermir le bonheur d'une patrie qu'il honora de son choix : dès ce moment il la chérit comme le plus zélé de ses citoyens ; il la servit avec l'intrépidité d'un héros, et il écrivait son histoire avec la naïveté d'un philosophe et la chaleur d'un patriote.

Il dit dans le commencement de son histoire de Genève, que, dès qu'il eut commencé de lire l'histoire des nations, il se sentit entraîné par son goût pour les républiques, dont il épousa toujours les intérêts : c'est ce goût pour la liberté qui lui fit sans doute adopter Genève pour sa patrie.

Bonnivard, encore jeune, s'annonça hautement comme le défenseur de Genève contre le Duc de Savoye et l'évêque.

En 1519, Bonnivard devint le martyr de sa patrie : le Duc de Savoye étant entré dans Genève avec cinq cents hommes, Bonnivard craignit le ressentiment du duc; il voulut se retirer à Fribourg pour en éviter les suites; mais il fut trahi par deux hommes qui l'accompagnaient, et conduit par ordre du prince à Grolée, où il resta prisonnier pendant deux ans. Bonnivard était malheureux dans ses voyages; comme ses malheurs n'avaient point ralenti son zèle pour Genève, il était toujours un ennemi redoutable pour ceux qui la menaçaient, et par conséquent il devait être exposé à leurs coups. Il fut rencontré en 1530 sur le Jura, par des voleurs qui le dépouillèrent, et qui le mirent encore entre les mains du Duc de Savoye : ce prince le fit enfermer dans le château de Chillon, où il resta sans être interrogé jusqu'en 1536; il fut alors délivré par les Bernois, qui s'emparèrent du pays de Vaud.

Bonnivard, en sortant de sa captivité, eut le plaisir de trouver Genève libre et réformée ; la république s'empressa de lui témoigner sa reconnaissance et de le dédommager des maux qu'il avait soufferts ; elle le reçut bourgeois de la ville au mois de juin 1536 ; elle lui donna la maison habitée autrefois par le Vicaire-Général, et elle lui assigna une pension de 200 écus d'or tant qu'il séjournerait à Genève. Il fut admis dans le Conseil des Deux-cents en 1537.

Bonnivard n'a pas fini d'être utile ; après avoir travaillé à rendre Genève libre, il réussit à la rendre tolérante. Bonnivard engagea le Conseil à accorder aux ecclésiastiques et aux paysans un temps suffisant pour examiner les propositions qu'on leur faisait ; il réussit par sa douceur : on prêche toujours le christianisme avec succès quand on le prêche avec charité.

Bonnivard fut savant : ses manuscrits, qui sont dans la bibliothèque publique, prouvent qu'il avait bien lu les auteurs classiques Latins, et qu'il avait approfondi la théologie et l'histoire. Ce grand homme aimait les sciences, et il croyait qu'elles

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