The air is full of balm, I know;
The winter vanished long ago.
In sheltered plots along the street
Crocus and tiny snowdrop meet,
And children skip about and play—
Rejoicing in the glad noonday—
Or loiter 'neath some budding bough
Where bird-notes will be warbled now—
Outside the prison wall.
The brook, by winter long enchained,
Flows through the meadow unrestrained;
The violet will blossom soon,
The moth will break from the cocoon;
And where the happy children sing,
The fledgling bird will try his wing,—
But, O my heart! the sunshine there!—
The grateful shade!—the boon, free air—
Outside the prison wall!