« PreviousContinue »
Lest the rude blast should snap the bough,
And spread her golden hopes below.
But just at eve the blowing weather
And all her fears were hush'd together :
And now, quoth poor unthinking Raph,
'Tis over, and the brood is safe;
(For ravens, though as birds of omen
They teach both conj'rers and old women
To tell us what is to befall,
Can't prophesy, themselves, at all;)
The morning came, when neighbour Hodge,
Who long had mark'd her airy lodge,
And destined all the treasure there
A gift to his expecting fair,
Climb'd like a squirrel to his dray,
And bore the worthless prize away.
ADDRESSED TO A YOUNG LADY.
WEET stream, that winds through yonder
Apt emblem of a virtuous maid, [glade,
Silent and chaste she steals along,
Far from the world's gay, busy throng,
With gentle yet prevailing force,
Intent upon her destined course;
Graceful and useful all she does,
Blessing and blest where'er she goes,
Pure-bosom'd as that wat'ry glass,
And heav'n reflected in her face,
SUPPOSED TO BE WRITTEN BY ALEXANDER SELKIRK, DURING HIS SOLITARY ABODE IN THE ISLAND OF JUAN FERNANDEZ.
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 1 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—
Oh, had I the wings of a dove,
How soon .# I taste you again l
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 1
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,
Ne'er 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 !
Oh, 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 is mercy in every place,
And mercy, encouraging thought !
Gives even affliction a grace,
And reconciles man to his lot.
OME, peace of mind, delightful guest I Return and make thy downy nest Once more in this sad heart: Nor riches I, nor pow'r pursue, Nor hold forbidden joys in view, We therefore need not part.
Where wilt thou dwell if not with me,
From av'rice and ambition free,
And pleasure's fatal wiles;
For whom, alas I dost thou prepare
The sweets that I was wont to share,
The banquet of thy smiles?
The great, the gay, shall they partake
The heav'n that thou alone canst make,
And wilt thou quit the stream
That murmurs through the dewy mead,
The 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 ?
EAK 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 winds 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 heav'n must swell the sail,
Or all the toil is lost.