Home  »  Every Day in the Year A Poetical Epitome of the World’s History  »  Sir Walter Raleigh to a Caged Linnet

James and Mary Ford, eds. Every Day in the Year. 1902.

July 31

Sir Walter Raleigh to a Caged Linnet

By Eugene Lee Hamilton (1845–1907)

  • Raleigh was imprisoned in the Tower, July 31, 1603.

  • THOU tiny solace of these prison days,

    Too long already have I kept thee here;

    With every week thou hast become more dear—

    So dear that I will free thee: fly thy ways.

    Man, the alternate slave and tyrant, lays

    Too soon on others what he has to bear.

    Thy cage is in my cage; but, never fear,

    The sun once more shall bathe thee with its rays.

    Fly forth, and tell the sunny woods how oft

    I think of them, and stretch my limbs in thought

    Upon their fragrant mosses green and soft;

    And whistle all the whistlings God hath taught

    Thy throat, to other songsters high aloft—

    Not to a captive who can answer naught.