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VERSES BY ALEXANDER SELKIRK. 179
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.
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 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.
EDWARD THUKLOW, ESQ.
To the Lord High Chancellorship of England.
ROUND Thurlow's head, in early youth,
And in his sportive days,
Fair Science pour'd the light of truth
And Genius shed his rays.
See! with united wonder, cried
Th experienc'd and the sage,
Ambition in a boy supplied
With all the skill of age
Discernment, eloquence, and grace,
Proclaim him born to sway
The balance in the highest place,
And bear the palm away.
The praise bestow'd was just and wise
He sprang impetuous forth,
Secure of conquest, where the prize
Attends superiour worth.
So the best courser on the plain
Ere yet he starts is known,
And does but at the goal obtain
What all had deem'd his own.
COME, peace of mind, delightful guest.
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! 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 priz'd,
For thee I gladly sacrific'd
Whate'er I lov'd before ;
And shall I see thee start away,
And helpless, hopeless, hear thee say→→→
Farewell! we meet no more?
WEAK 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. Vico scoms 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 wins his heart.
Tis here the folly of the wise
Through all his heart 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 superiour 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.
REBELLION is my theme all day:
I only wish 'twould come,
(As who knows but perhaps it may ?)
A little nearer home.
Yon roaring boys, who rave and fight
On t'other side th' Atlantick,
I always held them in the right,
But most so when most frantick.
When lawless mobs insult the court,
That man shall be my toast,
If breaking windows be the sport,
Who bravely breaks the most.
But, O! for him my fancy culls
The choicest flow'rs she bears,
Who constitutionally pulls
Your house about your ears.
Such civil broils are my delight,
Though some folks can't endure them,
Who say the mob are mad outright,
And that a rope must cure them.
A rope! I wish we patriots had
Such strings for all who need 'em-
What! hang a man for going mad!
Then farewell British freedom.