The Boy and the Captive Bird.

Oh !  give it liberty !1
Canst thou not tell2
The blessings of the free ?3
No !  for the captive’s cheerless cell4
Hath never closed on thee.5
Who pray for health ?6
They who have felt7
Disease’s weary bed.8
Who pine for wealth ?9
They who have knelt,10
And vainly begg’d for bread.11
Then give it liberty !12
Blue sky and balmy breeze,13
And shelter of the greenwood tree14
Oh !  how it droops for these !15
True, thou hast made its home16
Of gaily-gilded bars ;17
But what are these to heaven’s free dome,18
With all its twinkling stars ?19
Think ye the captive’s brain20
Could grow to slavery cold,21
Though every limb might wear a chain22
Of brightly burnish’d gold ?23
Then give it liberty !24
For thee ’tis well25
Thy glad young life is free.26
Pray that the solitary cell27
May never close on thee !28