"Look here," said Rose, with laughing eyes,
"Within this box, by magic hid,
"A tuneful Sprite imprisoned lies,
"Who sings to me whene'er he's bid.
"Tho' roving once his voice and wing,
"He'll now lie still the whole day long;
"Till thus I touch the magic spring--
"Then hark, how sweet and blithe his song!"
"Ah, Rose," I cried, "the poet's lay
"Must ne'er even Beauty's slave become;
"Thro' earth and air his song may stray,
"If all the while his heart's at home.
"And tho' in freedom's air he dwell,
"Nor bond nor chain his spirit knows,
"Touch but the spring thou knowst so well,
"And--hark, how sweet the love-song flows!"
Thus pleaded I for freedom's right;
But when young Beauty takes the field,
And wise men seek defence in flight,
The doom of poets is to yield.
No more my heart the enchantress braves,
I'm now in Beauty's prison hid;
The Sprite and I are fellow slaves,
And I, too, sing whene'er I'm bid.