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VERSES

SUPPOSED TO BE WRITTEN BY ALEXANDER SELKIRK,

DURING HIS SOLITARY ABODE IN THE ISLAND

OF JUAN FERNANDEZ.

4

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.

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IO

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.

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Society, Friendship, and Love,

Divinely bestowed upon man,
Oh! 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 cheered by the sallies of youth.

25

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 sighed at the sound of a knell,

Or smiled when a Sabbath appeared.

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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?
Oh! tell me I yet have a friend,

Though a friend I am never to see.

40

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.

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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 is Mercy in every place,

And Mercy, encouraging thought ! Gives even Affliction a grace,

And reconciles man to his lot.

55

THE LILY AND THE ROSE.

The nymph must lose her female friend,

If more admired than she-
But where will fierce contention end,

If flowers can disagree?

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Thus soothed and reconciled, each seeks

The fairest British fair;
The seat of empire is her cheeks,

They reign united there.

MUTUAL FORBEARANCE

NECESSARY TO THE HAPPINESS OF THE MARRIED STATE.

THE lady thus addressed her spouse-
•What a mere dungeon is this house !
By no means large enough; and was it,
Yet this dull room, and that dark closet,
Those hangings with their worn-out graces,
Long beards, long noses, and pale faces,

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Are such an antiquated scene,
They overwhelm me with the spleen.'
Sir Humphrey, shooting in the dark,
Makes answer quite beside the mark:
No doubt, my dear, I bade him come,
Engaged myself to be at home,
And shall expect him at the door
Precisely when the clock strikes four.'

'You are so deaf,' the lady cried,
(And raised her voice and frowned beside)
"You are so sadly deaf, my dear,
What shall I do to make you hear?'

‘Dismiss poor Harry! he replies; “Some people are more nice than wise; For one slight trespass all this stir ? What if he did ride whip and spur, 'Twas but a mile; your favourite horse Will never look one hair the worse.'

"Well, I protest 'tis past all bearing !'
Child! I am rather hard of hearing.'
'Yes, truly—one must scream and bawl :
I tell you, you can't hear at all!
Then, with a voice exceeding low,
• No matter if you hear or no.'

Alas! and is domestic strife,
That sorest ill of human life,
A plague so little to be feared,
As to be wantonly incurred,
To gratify a fretful passion,
On every trivial provocation ?
The kindest and the happiest pair
Will find occasion to forbear,
And something every day they live
To pity, and perhaps forgive.
But if infirmities that fall
In common to the lot of all,
A blemish, or a sense impaired,
Are crimes so little to be spared,

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Then farewell all that must create
The comfort of the wedded state ;
Instead of harmony, 'tis jar,
And tumult, and intestine war.

The Love that cheers life's latest stage,
Proof against sickness and old age,
Preserved by virtue from declension,
Becomes not weary of attention;
But lives, when that exterior grace
Which first inspired the flame, decays.
'Tis gentle, delicate, and kind,
To faults compassionate or blind,
And will, with sympathy, endure
Those evils it would gladly cure;
But angry, coarse, and harsh expression
Shows Love to be a mere profession;
Proves that the heart is none of his,
Or soon expels him if it is.

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