VERSES, supposed to be written by ALEXANDER SELKIRK, during his solitary Abode in the Island of JUAN FERNANDEZ.
1 I AM monarch of all I survey,
2 My right there is none to dispute,
3 From the center all round to the sea,
4 I am lord of the fowl and the brute.
5 Oh solitude! where are the charms
6 That sages have seen in the face?
7 Better dwell in the midst of alarms,
8 Than reign in this horrible place.
9 I am out of humanity's reach,
10 I must finish my journey alone,
11 Never hear the sweet music of speech,
12 I start at the sound of my own.
13 The beasts that roam over the plain,
14 My form with indifference see,
15 They are so unacquainted with man,
16 Their tameness is shocking to me.
17 Society, friendship, and love,
18 Divinely bestow'd upon man,
19 Oh had I the wings of a dove,
20 How soon wou'd I taste you again!
21 My sorrows I then might assuage
22 In the ways of religion and truth,
23 Might learn from the wisdom of age,
24 And be cheer'd by the fallies of youth.
25 Religion! what treasure untold
26 Resides in that heav'nly word!
27 More precious than silver and gold,
28 Or all that this earth can afford.
29 But the sound of the church going bell
30 These vallies and rocks never heard,
31 Ne'er sigh'd at the sound of a knell,
32 Or smil'd when a sabbath appear'd.
33 Ye winds that have made me your sport,
34 Convey to this desolate shore,
35 Some cordial endearing report
36 Of a land I shall visit no more.
37 My friends do they now and then send
38 A wish or a thought after me?
39 O tell me I yet have a friend,
40 Though a friend I am never to see,
41 How fleet is a glance of the mind!
42 Compar'd with the speed of its flight,
43 The tempest itself lags behind,
44 And the swift winged arrows of light.
45 When I think of my own native land,
46 In a moment I seem to be there;
47 But alas! recollection at hand
48 Soon hurries me back to despair.
49 But the sea fowl is gone to her nest,
50 The beast is laid down in his lair,
51 Ev'n here is a season of rest,
52 And I to my cabbin repair.
53 There is mercy in ev'ry place,
54 And mercy, encouraging thought!
55 Gives even affliction a grace,
56 And reconciles man to his lot.
About this text
Title (in Source Edition): VERSES, supposed to be written by ALEXANDER SELKIRK, during his solitary Abode in the Island of JUAN FERNANDEZ.
Author: William Cowper
Themes: imprisonment; nature
Genres: occasional poem
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The text has been typographically modernized, but without any silent modernization of spelling, capitalization, or punctuation. The source of the text is given and all editorial interventions have been recorded in textual notes. Based on the electronic text originally produced by the ECCO-TCP project, this ECPA text has been edited to conform to the recommendations found in Level 5 of the Best Practices for TEI in Libraries version 3.0.
Other works by William Cowper
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- AN EPISTLE TO JOSEPH HILL, ESQ. ()
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- A FABLE. ()
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- HORACE. Book the 2d. ODE the 10th. ()
- HUMAN FRAILTY. ()
- THE LILY AND THE ROSE. ()
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- THE MODERN PATRIOT. ()
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- ODE TO PEACE. ()
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- On observing some Names of little Note recorded in the BIOGRAPHIA BRITANNICA. ()
- On the Burning of LORD MANSFIELD'S Library, together with his MSS. by the Mob, in the Month of June, 1780. ()
- On the Promotion of EDWARD THURLOW, Esq. to the Lord High Chancellorship of ENGLAND. ()
- ON THE SAME. ()
- The PINE APPLE and the BEE. ()
- THE POET, THE OYSTER, AND SENSITIVE PLANT. ()
- THE PROGRESS OF ERROR. ()
- A REFLECTION on the foregoing ODE. ()
- REPORT Of an adjudged Case not to be found in any of the Books. ()
- RETIREMENT. ()
- THE SHRUBBERY, Written in a Time of Affliction. ()
- TABLE TALK. ()
- [THE TASK, A POEM, IN SIX BOOKS.] BOOK I. ()
- [THE TASK, A POEM, IN SIX BOOKS.] BOOK II. ()
- [THE TASK, A POEM, IN SIX BOOKS.] BOOK III. ()
- [THE TASK, A POEM, IN SIX BOOKS.] BOOK IV. ()
- [THE TASK, A POEM, IN SIX BOOKS.] BOOK V. ()
- [THE TASK, A POEM, IN SIX BOOKS.] BOOK VI. ()
- TIROCINIUM. ()
- To the REV. MR. NEWTON. An Invitation into the Country. ()
- To the Rev. WILLIAM CAWTHORNE UNWIN. ()
- [Translation] 1. THE GLOW-WORM, ()
- [Translation] 2. THE JACK DAW. ()
- [Translation] 3. THE CRICKET. ()
- [Translation] 4. THE PARROT. ()
- TRUTH. ()
- THE WINTER NOSEGAY. ()