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VERSES

Supposed to be written by Alexander Selkirk,

during his solitary abode on the island of Juan Fernandez.

I.
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.

II.
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.

III. 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.

IV. 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.

V. 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.

VI.
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.

VII.
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.

16

REPORT

Of an adjudged Case, not to be found in any of

the Books.

I. BETWEEN Nose and Eyes a strange contest arose,

The spectacles set them unhappily wrong; The point in dispute was, as all the world knows, To which the said spectacles ought to belong.

II. So Tongue was the lawyer, and argued the cause With a great deal of skill, and a wig full of

learning, While chief baron Ear sat to balance the laws, So fam'd for his talent in nicely discerning.

III. In behalf of the Nose it will quickly appear, And your lordship, he said, will undoubtedly

find, That the Nose has had spectacles always in wear,

Which amounts to possession time out of mind.

IV. Then holding the spectacles up to the court, Your lordship observes they are made with a straddle

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As wide as the ridge of the Nose is; in short,

Design'd to sit close to it, just like a saddle.

V. Again, would your lordship a moment suppose, ('Tis a case that has happen'd, and may be

again,) That the visage or countenance had not a Nose, Pray who would, or who could, wear spectacles then?

VI. On the whole it appears, and my argument

shows, With a reasoning the court will never condemn, That the spectacles plainly were made for the

Nose And the Nose was as plainly intended for them.

VII. Then shifting his side, (as a lawyer knows how,)

He pleaded again in behalf of the Eyes : But what were his arguments few people know, For the court did not think they were equally

wise.

VIII. So his lordship decreed, with a grave solemn tone,

Decisive and clear, without one if or but That, whenever the Nose put his spectacles on, By day-light or candle-light-Eyes should be

shut.

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