Felicia Dorothea Hemans

(25 September 1793 – 16 May 1835 / Liverpool, England)

The Captive Knight


The prisoned thrush may brook the cage,
The captive eagle dies for rage.
Lady of the Lake.


'Twas a trumpet's pealing sound!
And the knight look'd down from the Paynim's tower,
And a Christian host, in its pride and power,
Thro' the pass beneath him wound.
Cease awhile, clarion! Clarion, wild and shrill,
Cease! let them hear the captive's voice–be still!
'I knew 'twas a trumpet's note!
And I see my brethren's lances gleam,
And their pennons wave by the mountain stream,
And their plumes to the glad wind float!
Cease awhile, clarion! Clarion, wild and shrill,
Cease! let them hear the captive's voice–be still!

'I am here, with my heavy chain!
And I look on a torrent sweeping by,
And an eagle rushing to the sky,
And a host, to its battle-plain!
Cease awhile, clarion! Clarion, wild and shrill,
Cease! let them hear the captive's voice–be still!

'Must I pine in my fetters here?
With the wild wave's foam, and the free bird's flight,
And the tall spears glancing on my sight,
And the trumpet in mine ear?
Cease awhile, clarion! Clarion, wild and shrill,
Cease! let them hear the captive's voice–be still!

'They are gone! they have all pass'd by!
They in whose wars I had borne my part,
They that I lov'd with a brother's heart,
They have left me here to die!
Sound again, clarion! Clarion, pour thy blast!
Sound! for the captive's dream of hope is past.'

Submitted: Thursday, April 08, 2010

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