There are sounds of mirth in the night-air ringing,
And lamps from every casement shown;
While voices blithe within are singing,
That seem to say "Come," in every tone.
Ah! once how light, in Life's young season,
My heart had leapt at that sweet lay;
Nor paused to ask of graybeard Reason
Should I the syren call obey.
And, see--the lamps still livelier glitter,
The syren lips more fondly sound;
No, seek, ye nymphs, some victim fitter
To sink in your rosy bondage bound.
Shall a bard, whom not the world in arms
Could bend to tyranny's rude control,
Thus quail at sight of woman's charms
And yield to a smile his freeborn soul?
Thus sung the sage, while, slyly stealing,
The nymphs their fetters around him cast,
And,--their laughing eyes, the while, concealing,--
Led Freedom's Bard their slave at last.
For the Poet's heart, still prone to loving,
Was like that rack of the Druid race,
Which the gentlest touch at once set moving,
But all earth's power couldn't cast from its base.