Thomas Moore

May 28, 1780 - Feb 26, 1852


To Leigh Hunt And His Brother

by Thomas Moore

Go to your prisons -- though the air of spring
No mountain coldness to your cheeks shall bring;
Though summer flowers shall pass unseen away,
And all your portion of the glorious day
May be some solitary beam that falls,
At morn or eve, upon your dreary walls --
Some beam that enters, trembling, as if awed,
To tell how gay the young world laughs abroad!
Yet go -- for thoughts as blessed as the air
Of spring or summer flowers, await you there:
Thoughts such as he who feasts his courtly crew
In rich conservatories never knew!
Pure self-esteem -- the smiles that light within --
The zeal whose circling charities begin
With the few loved-ones Heaven has placed it near,
Nor cease till all mankind are in its sphere! --
The pride that suffers without vaunt or plea,
And the fresh spirit that can warble free,
Through prison-bars, its hymn to liberty!

Notes to the poem:

This piece is from the "Two-Penny Post Bag", and is obviously addressed to Leigh Hunt and his brother John, who were fined and imprisoned in 1812 for a satirical article in the Examiner on Prince Regent. -- Editor.


The Poetical Works of Thomas Moore.
Copyright undated, very old
The Walter Scott Publishing Co. Ltd.