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MRS. MONTAGU'S FEATHER
The birds put off their ev'ry hue,
To dress a room for Montagu.
The Peacock sends his heav'nly dyes,
His rainbows and his starry eyes ;
The Pheasant plumes, which round infold
His mantling neck with downy gold;
The Cock his arch'd tail's azure show;
And, river-blanch'd, the Swan his snow.
All tribes beside of Indian name;
That glossy shine, or vivid flame,
Where rises, and where sets the day,
Whate'er they boast of rich and gay,
Contribute to the gorgeous plan,
Proud to advance it all they can.
This plumage neither dashing show'r,
Nor blasts, that shake the dripping bow'r,
Shall drench again or discompose,
But, screen'd from ev'ry storm that blows,
It boasts a splendour ever new,
Safe with protecting Montagu.
To the same patroness resort,
Secure of favour at her court,
Strong Genius, from whose forge of thought
Forms rise, to quick perfection wrought,
Which, though new-born, with vigour move,
Like Pallas springing arm'd from Jove
Imagination scatt'ring round
Wild roses over furrow'd ground,
Which Labour of his frown beguile,
And teach Philosophy a smile-
Wit flashing on Religion's side,
Whose fires, to sacred Truth applied,
The gem, though luminous before,
Obtrude on human notice more,
Like sunbeams on the golden height
Of some tall temple playing bright
Well-tutor'd Learning, from his books
Dismiss'd with grave, not haughty, looks,
Their order on his shelves exact,
Not more harmonious or compact
Than that, to which he keeps confin'd
The various treasures of his mind-
All these to Montagu's repair,
Ambitious of a shelter there.
There Genius, Learning, Fancy, Wit,
Their ruffled plumage calm refit,
(For stormy troubles loudest roar
Around their flight who highest soar)
And in her eye, and by her aid,
Sbine safe without a fear to fade.
She thus maintains divided sway
With yon bright regent of the day;
The plume and poet both we know
Their lustre to his influence owe;
And she the works of Phæbus aiding,
Both poet saves and plume from fading.
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.
Sòciety, 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.
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 vallies 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.