« PreviousContinue »
VERSES Supposed to be written by Alexander Selkirk, during his solitary in the island of Juan Fernandez. I AM monarch of all I survey, My right there is none to dispute; From the centre all round to the sea, I am lord of the fowl and the brute. O, Solitude 1 where are the charms That sages have seen in thy face? Better dwell in the midst of alarms, Than reign in this horrible place.
I am out of humanity’s reach
I must finish my journey alone,
Never hear the sweet music of speech,
I start at the sound of my own.
The beasts, that roam over the plain,
My form with indifference see;
To are so unacquainted with man,
Their tameness is shocking to me,
Society, friendship, and love,
Divinely bestow'd upon man,
O, had I the wings of a dove,
How soon would I taste you again
My sorrows I then might assuage
n the ways of religion and truth,
Might learn from the wisdom of age,
nd be cheer’d by the sallies of youth.
Religion' what treasure untold
Resides in that heavenly word '
More precious than silver and gold,
Or all that this earth can afford.
But the sound of the church-going bell
These valleys and rocks never heard,
Never sigh’d at the sound of a knell,
Or smil’d when a sabbath appear'd.
Ye winds, that have made me your sport,
Convey to this desolate shore
Some cordial, endearing, report
Of a land I shall visit no more.
My friends, do they now and then send
A wish or a thought after me?
O,tell me I yet have a friend,
Though a friend I am never to see.
How fleet is a glance of the mind'
Compar'd with the speed of its flight,
The tempest itself lags behind,
And the swift-winged arrows of light.
When I think of my own native ...i.
In a moment I seem to be there;
But, alas ! recollection at hand
Soon hurries me back to despair.
But, the seafowl is gone to her nest,
The beast is laid down in his lair;
Even here is a season of rest,
And I to my cabin repair.
There's mercy in every place,
And mercy, encouraging thought !
Gives even affliction a grace,
And reconciles man to his lot.
ON THE PROMOTION OF EDWARD THURLOW, Esq. TO THE LORD HIGH CHANCELLORSHIP OF ENGLAND.
Round Thurlow's head in early youth,
And in his sportive days,
Fair Science pour'd the light of truth,
And Genius shed his rays. -
“See : * with united wonder cried
Th’ experienc'd and the sage,
“Ambition in a boy supplied
With all the skill of age'
“Discernment, eloquence, and grace
Proclaim him born to sway
The balance in the highest place,
And bear the palm away.”
The praise bestow'd was just and wise;
He sprang impetuous forth
Secure of conquest, where the prize
Attends superior worth.
So the best courser on the plain
Ere yet he starts is known,
And does but at the goal obtain
What all had deem’d his own.
CoME, Peace of mind, delightful guest !
Return, and make thy downy nest
Once more in this sad heart:
Nor riches I nor pow'r pursue,
Nor hold forbidden joys in view;
We, therefore, need not part.
Where wilt thou dwell, if not with me,
From av’rice and ambition free,
And pleasure's fatal wiles?
For whom, alas! dost thou prepare
The sweets, that I was wont to share,
The banquet of thy smiles?
The great, the gay, shall they partake
The heav'n that thou alone canst make 7
And wilt thou quit the stream,
That murmurs through the dewy mead,
The grove and the sequester'd shed,
To be a guest with them?