The Prisoner of Chillon: A Fable
Man and the Natural World Quotes
How we cite our quotes:
He was a hunter of the hills,
Had follow'd there the deer and wolf;
To him his dungeon was a gulf,
And fetter'd feet the worst of ills. (lines 103-6)
The speaker's middle brother is an outdoorsy "hunter." Because he's so used to the freedom of the outdoors, he can't stand being imprisoned and is the first to give up hope and die.
I saw the glimmer of the sun
Creeping as it before had done,
But through the crevice where it came
That bird was perch'd, as fond and tame,
And tamer than upon the tree (lines 263-7)
The "glimmer of the sun" that "creep[s]" into the dungeon is like the first glimmer of hope the speaker sees after his youngest brother dies. The bird, too, could represent the power of the natural world to restore hope.
And it was come to love me when
None lived to love me so again,
And cheering from my dungeon's brink,
Had brought be back to feel and think. (lines 275-8)
Here the speaker explicitly says that the bird had come to bring him back from the "brink" of despair. Yay, nature!