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Excerpts from The Prisoner of Chillon

Chateau de Chillon
There are seven pillars of Gothic mould, 
In Chillon's dungeons deep and old, 
There are seven columns, massy and grey, 
Dim with a dull imprison'd ray, 
A sunbeam which hath lost its way, 
And through the crevice and the cleft 
Of the thick wall is fallen and left; 
Creeping o'er the floor so damp, 
Like a marsh's meteor lamp: 
And in each pillar there is a ring, 
And in each ring there is a chain; 
That iron is a cankering thing, 
For in these limbs its teeth remain, 
With marks that will not wear away, 

Lake Leman
Lake Leman lies by Chillon's walls: 
A thousand feet in depth below 
Its massy waters meet and flow; 
Thus much the fathom-line was sent 
From Chillon's snow-white battlement, 
Which round about the wave inthralls: 
A double dungeon wall and wave 
Have made—and like a living grave 
Below the surface of the lake 
The dark vault lies wherein we lay: 
We heard it ripple night and day; 
Sounding o'er our heads it knock'd; 
And I have felt the winter's spray 
Wash through the bars when winds were high 

The Prisoner of Chillon, Eugène Delacroix, 1834*
It might be months, or years, or days— 
I kept no count, I took no note— 
I had no hope my eyes to raise, 
And clear them of their dreary mote; 
At last men came to set me free; 
I ask'd not why, and reck'd not where; 
It was at length the same to me, 
Fetter'd or fetterless to be, 
I learn'd to love despair. 
And thus when they appear'd at last, 
And all my bonds aside were cast, 
These heavy walls to me had grown 
A hermitage—and all my own! 

The Prisoner of Chillon was written by Lord Byron in 1816. Please read the poem in its entirety here:

*The Prisoner of Chillon painting is from the collection of the Louvre Museum, Paris. It was painted in 1834 by Eugène Delacroix, a French Romantic artist. Oil on canvas. This painting is in the public domain.

Where to stay:
Grand Hotel Swiss Majestic, Autograph Collection
Avenue des Alpes 45, Montreux
Convenient location overlooking Lake Geneva and a stone’s throw from the train station (perfect for travelers planning on exploring nearby cities like Lausanne, Gstaad, etc.)


Photographs by TravelswithCharie

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