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To mis'ry's moving cries to yield relief;
And be the sure resource of drooping age.
So when the genial spring of life shall fade,
And sinking nature own the dread decay, Some soul congenial then may lend its aid, And gild the close of life's eventful day.
Verses 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.
Oh 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,
O 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 or 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 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 scason 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..
WHEN all thy mercies, O my God!
My rising soul surveys,
Transported with the view, I'm lost
In wonder, love, and praise.
O how shall words, with equal warmth,
The gratitude declare,
That glows within my ravish'd heart?
But thou canst read it there.
Thy Providence my life sustain'd,
And all my wants redrest,
When in the silent womb I lay,
And hung upon the breast.
To all my weak complaints and cries,
Thy mercy lent an ear,
Ere yet my feeble thoughts had learn'd
To form themselves in pray 'r.
Unnumber'd comforts to my soul
Thy tender care bestow'd,
Before my infant heart conceiv'd
From whom those comiorts flow'd.
When, in the slipp'ry paths of youth,
With heedless steps, I ran,
Thine arm, unseen, convey'd me safe,
And led me up to man.
Through hidden dangers, toils, and deaths,
It gently clear'd my way;
And through the pleasing snares of vice,
More to be fear'd than they.
When worn with sickness, oft hast thou
With health renew'd my face;
And, when in sin and sorrow sunk,
Reviv'd my soul with grace.
Thy bounteous hand, with worldly bliss,
Has made my cup run o'er ;
And, in a kind and faithful friend,
Has doubled all my store.
Ten thousand thousand precious gifts
My daily thanks employ ;
Nor is the least a cheerful heart
That tastes those gifts with joy.
Through ev'ry period of my life,
Thy goodness I'll pursue ;
And, after death, in distant worlds,
The glorious theme renew.
When nature fails, and day and night
'Divide thy works no more,
My ever grateful heart, O Lord;
Thy mercy shall adore.
Through all eternity to thee
A joyful song I'll raise,
For O! eternity's too short
To utter all thy praise.
Aman perishing in the snow; from whence reflections are raised on the miseries of life.
As thus the snows arise; and foul and fierce,
All winter drives along the darken'd air;
In his own loose-revolving fields, the swain
Disaster'd stands; sees other hills ascend,
Of unknown joyless brow, and other scenes,
Of horrid prospect shag the trackless plain;
Nor finds the river, nor the forest, hid
Beneath the formless wild; but wanders on,
From hill to dale, still more and more astray;
Impatient flouncing through the drifted heaps,
Stung with the thoughts of home; the thoughts of home
Rush on his nerves, and call their vigour forth
In many a vain attempt. How sinks his soul !
What black despair, what horror fills his heart!
When, for the dusky spot, which fancy feign'd,
His tufted cottage rising through the snow,
He meets the roughness of the middle waste,
Far from the track, and blest abode of man;
While round him night resistless closes fast,
And ev'ry tempest howling o'er his head,
Renders the savage wilderness more wild.
Then throng the busy shapes into his mind,
Of cover'd pits, unfathomably deep,
A dire descent, beyond the pow'r of frost!
Of faithless bogs, of precipices huge,
Smooth'd up with snow; and what is land, unknown,
What water, of the still unfrozen spring,
In the loose marsh or solitary lake,
Where the fresh fountain from the bottom boils.
These check his fearful steps; and down he sinks
Beneath the shelter of the shapeless drift,
Thinking o'er all the bitterness of death,
Mix'd with the tender anguish nature shoots
Through the wrung bosom of the dying man,
His wife, his children, and his friends unseen.
In vain for him th' officious wife prepares
The fire fair-blazing, and the vestment warm;
In vain his little children, peeping out
Into the mingled storm, demand their sire,
With tears of artless innocence. Alas!
Nor wife, nor children, more hall he behold;