Abolitionist William Lloyd Garrison wrote this sonnet on the walls of his cell in Baltimore Jail during his imprisonment in 1830 for his refusal to pay a fine in a libel suit brought against him by a slave trader.
Hich walls and the body moy conf.ne. And ron grates obatruct the prisoner's gaze, And ma3sive gitos mny bafÃlc his design, And vigilaiu keepers wntch his devious ways: Yet scorne the immortnl mind this base control! No chains can bind il, and no ccll enclose: Swifter than light, it flies irom pole to pole, And in a flash trom earth to heaven it gocs! It loaps from inount to mount; Irom vale to vale It vanders,plucking honeyed fruits and flowers, It visite home, to liear the fire-sidc tale, Or, in sweei.converse, pais the joyous hours. 'Tis up before the sun, roanÃ¼ng afar, And, in its watche3, wearies every slar!