Freedom of the Mind

Written While in Prison for Denouncing the Domestic Slave-Trade

High walls and huge the body may confine,
And iron gates obstruct the prisoner’s gaze,
And massive bolts may baffle his design,
And vigilant keepers watch his devious ways;
But scorns the immortal mind such base control:
No chains can bind it and no cell enclose.
Swifter than light it flies from pole to pole,
And in a flash from earth to heaven it goes.
It leaps from mount to mount; from vale to vale
It wanders, plucking honeyed fruits and flowers;
It visits home to hear the fireside tale
And in sweet converse pass the joyous hours;
’T is up before the sun, roaming afar,
And in its watches wearies every star.