<p>&nbsp;<span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family: Simsun; line-height: normal; font-size: medium; -webkit-border-horizontal-spacing: 2px; -webkit-border-vertical-spacing: 2px; "><b><font face="Arial,Helvetica"><font size="+2">To Althea, From Prison</font></font></b>&nbsp;</span></p><center><font face="Arial,Helvetica"><font size="-1">By Richard Lovelace</font></font></center><hr width="100%">

Text of the Poem Summaries and Notes
When Love with unconfinèd wings Although in prison, the poet is freer than the birds that fly about at
  Hovers within my gates, will. Why? Because his mind is free. He can imagine his love, 
And my divine Althea brings Althea, so close to him that he becomes tangled in her hair and 
  To whisper at the grates their gazes meet when they are only inches apart.
When I lie tangled in her hair è: The grave accent over the e indicates that the letter receives
  And fetter'd to her eye,  full pronunciation: UN kon FY ned 
The birds that wanton in the air  within my gates: inside the prison; grates: bars, grill
  Know no such liberty.  wanton: fly freely and aimlessly

When flowing cups run swiftly round  Fishes have a whole ocean from which to drink. But they are less 
  With no allaying Thames, free to drink than I am here in prison. My imagination makes 
Our careless heads with roses bound,  bottomless cups flow with wine–without water from the River 
  Our hearts with loyal flames; Thames to dilute it–as I and my friends wear rosy wreaths and 
When thirsty grief in wine we steep, toast the king. We may mourn the loss of our rights, but still there
  When healths and draughts go free– are toasts (healths) and draughts (the taking in of wine).
Fishes that tipple in the deep loyal flames: support for the king
  Know no such liberty.  

When, like committed linnets, I Though I am in prison, I am free to sing the praises of my king.
  With shriller throat shall sing No wind, however strong, can make as great a sound as I can
The sweetness, mercy, majesty,  when I sing the glories of my monarch. 
  And glories of my King; committed linnets: caged birds that include canaries and 
When I shall voice aloud how good sparrows
  He is, how great should be,  
Enlargèd winds, that curl the flood,  
  Know no such liberty.  

Stone walls do not a prison make, The walls and iron bars that surround me cannot imprison me,
  Nor iron bars a cage; for my mind remains free. Because I am innocent of wrongdoing,
Minds innocent and quiet take I regard prison as a hermitage, a retreat where I can concentrate
  That for an hermitage; on what matters to me–my love for Althea and the principles by 
If I have freedom in my love which I live. Only angels have as much freedom as I do.
  And in my soul am free,  
Angels alone, that soar above,  
  Enjoy such liberty.