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The poem begins with the speaker imagining his lover, Althea, arriving in his prison cell. In the second stanza the speaker imagines a festive celebration with his friends, and in the third he talks of singing with a "shriller note" than caged songbirds. In all three the speaker claims to be "freer" than just about everything and everybody else. In the final stanza, the speaker wraps up by reminding us of the power of the human imagination to overcome any situation.