My tower was grimly builded,
With many a bolt and bar,
“And here,” I thought, “I will keep my life
From the bitter world afar.”
Dark and chill was the stony floor,
Where never a sunbeam lay,
And the mould crept up on the dreary wall,
With its ghost touch, day by day.
One morn, in my sullen musings,
A flutter and cry I heard;
And close at the rusty casement
There clung a frightened bird.
Then back I flung the shutter
That was never before undone,
And I kept till its wings were rested
The little weary one.
But in through the open window,
Which I had forgot to close,
There had burst a gush of sunshine
And a summer scent of rose.
For all the while I had burrowed
There in my dingy tower,
Lo! the birds had sung and the leaves had danced
From hour to sunny hour.
And such balm and warmth and beauty
Came drifting in since then,
That the window still stands open
And shall never be shut again.
Edward Rowland Sill, 1841–1887