To My Lyre

My Lyre! thou art the bower of my senses,
   Where they may sleep in tuneful visions bound;
These trembling chords shall be their breeze-kissed fences,
   Which are with music’s tendrils warmly wound,
As with some creeping shrub, which sweets dispenses,
   And on each quivering stalk blossoms a sound.
My lyre! thou art the barred prison grate,
   Where shackled melody a bond-maid sleeps,
And taunting breezes as her torturers wait:
   With radiant joy the hapless prisoner peeps
And sings delight, with freedom’s hope elate,
   When some faint hand upon the surface sweeps;
      And still she beats against the prison bars,
      Till brooding silence comes and smothers her pert jars.

[Kelsall, 1851]