Captive brother, break thy chain

First Line Captive brother, break thy chain
Author George Lyttelton
Date 1763

Narrative; Answer [Animals, pets]. 

Transcribed from Lyttleton, George. "The Squirrels of Hagley to Miss W.'s Squirrel." London Magazine, or, Gentleman's Monthly Intelligencer, August 1763, p. 442. 



Captive brother, break thy chain,

Thy native liberty regain:

Come, and join with us to rove

O’er every branch of every grove;

O’er the deep embow’ring vales,

Fann’d by Zephyr’s wanton Gales;

O’er the hills and o’er the plains

Of Hagley-Park, where nature reigns.

No tyrant here our right invades,

Free tenants of these happy shades;

Careless we leap from spray to spray,

And sport in all the bloom of May.

   Captive brother break thy chain,

Thy native liberty regain.


The Answer

My savage friends, ye little know

What bliss ye tempt me to forego!

No force I need, no galling chain,

Fair Sukey’s captive to remain;

Her breath is sweeter than the gales

That waft perfumes o’er Hagley’s Vales;

The straitest plant that rises there,

Cannot with her in shape compare;

Nor ever did the hand of May,

O’er leaf or flow’r such colours lay,

As paint, with nature’s loveliest grace,

The blooming beauties of her face.

Fed by her gifts, I scorn to taste

The Sylvan nut-tree’s coarse repast.

With eager Joy, at her command,

I run to sit upon her hand;

Or wander o’er the valley sweet,

That just prevents her breasts to meet.

Nor think that I alone am broke

To bend beneath her gentle yoke.

Behold proud Hagley’s youthful heir,

Who lov’d to range from fair to fair;

And wild as squirrel in the wood,

Though liberty his highest good;

Now tame like me, at Sukey’s side,

A willing slave for ever ty’d.