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They have built ye firmly, frowning walls!
With the iron and the stone;
And cheerless is your prison house,
Where the wretch may sigh alone.


Unto the lost one, here, may years
Of grief unnoted roll;
Thou art, unsated sullen tomb!
The Bastile of the soul.


Within your cold damp-dripping cell,
Unseen by human eye,
Methinks 'tis horrible to dwell,
Less dreadful 'twere to die.


To know that the bright blessed sun,
It was not mine to see;
That spring should bloom and summer smile,
Yet bloom nor smile for me--


To listen for the voice, or tread
Of man, yet list in vain;
Thoughts of the dying and the dead,
Than these, were lesser pain.


Yet to the lost, abandoned one,
Cast out, yea spurned of all,
O'er whose fond hopes and early dreams
Despair has flung its pall--


To him, the dead, is life revealed,--
His dungeon-walls are heaven,
When Mercy, breaking through the gloom,
Whispers, "Thou art forgiven!"