Letitia Elizabeth Landon

The Castle of Chillon

FAIR lake, thy lovely and thy haunted shore
Hath only echoes for the poet’s lute;
None may tread there but with unsandalled foot,
Submissive to the great who went before,
Filled with the mighty memories of yore.
And yet how mournful are the records there:
Captivity and exile and despair
Did they endure who now endure no more,—
The patriot, the woman, and the bard,
Whose names thy winds and waters bear along;
What did the world bestow for their reward
But suffering, sorrow, bitterness, and wrong?
Genius! a hard and weary lot is thine,—
The heart thy fuel, and the grave thy shrine.

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