« PreviousContinue »
Supposed to be written by Alexander Selkirk, during his solitary abode 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! 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;
They are so unacquainted with man,
Their tameness is shocking to me.
Society, friendship, and love,
Divinely bestow'd upon man,
0, had I the wings of a dove,
How soon would I taste you again!
My sorrows I then might assuage
In the ways of religion and truth,
Might learn from the wisdom of age,
And 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 smiled 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! Compared 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 land, In a moment I seem to be there; But alas! recollection at hand
Soon hurries me back to despair.
But the sea-fowl 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.
THE LORD HIGH CHANCELLORSHIP OF
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
The experienced 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 power pursue,
Nor hold forbidden joys in view;
We therefore need not part.
Where wilt thou dwell, if not with me,
From avarice 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 heaven, that thou alone canst make?
And wilt thou quit the stream,
That murmurs through the dewy mead,
grove and the sequester'd shed,
To be a guest with them?
For thee I panted, thee I prized,
For thee I gladly sacrificed
Whate'er I loved before;
And shall I see thee start away,
And helpless, hopeless, hear thee say-
Farewell! we meet no more?
WEAK and irresolute is man;
The purpose of to-day,
Woven with pains into his plan,
To-morrow rends away.
The bow well bent, and smart the spring,
Vice seems already slain;
But Passion rudely snaps the string,
And it revives again.
Some foe to his upright intent
Finds out his weaker part;
Virtue engages his assent,
But Pleasure wins his heart.
'Tis here the folly of the wise
Through all his art we view;
And, while his tongue the charge denies,
His conscience owns it true.
Bound on a voyage of awful length
And dangers little known,
A stranger to superior strength,
Man vainly trusts his own.
But oars alone can ne'er prevail,
To reach the distant coast;
The breath of heaven must swell the sail,
Or all the toil is lost.