This crimson bird, my emblem of ennui.
Preens in his mirror, shakes his dangling bell.
Eats, and grows bored, and sleeps.
Impatiently I listened to the rain-showers as they fell
An hour ago, and still am lying here,
A flood of silence roaring in my ear.
No wish to change this ceiling for the sky
That’s blank and cold above some neighbouring street;
My tireless gaoler keeps me in his eye
Indoors and out; I hear his following feet
On every pavement, ghostly in the glass
He peers from darkened windows as I pass.
And so I keep my limits like the bird.
And am, like him, now placid within bars.
And yet am restless, feverish, and absurd;
I fall asleep, like him, in swift despairs.
Wake in swift hopes, then scramble round my cage.
Filled with illusions of a pilgrimage.