Home  |  Authors  |  Books  |  Stories  |  What's New  |  How to Get Involved 
   T h e   B a l d w i n   P r o j e c t
     Bringing Yesterday's Classics to Today's Children                 @mainlesson.com
Search This Site Only
 
 
Poems Every Child Should Know by  Mary E. Burt

[Illustration] Hundreds of additional titles available for online reading when you join Gateway to the Classics

Learn More
[Illustration]

 

 

THE SOLITUDE OF ALEXANDER SELKIRK

[190]

I am monarch of all I survey,

My right there is none to dispute,

From the center 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.


Society, Friendship, and Love,

Divinely bestow'd upon man,

Oh, 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.


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!

[191]

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-wingèd 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 seafowl 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.


WILLIAM COWPER.


 Table of Contents  |  Index  | Previous: The Nautilus and the Ammonite  |  Next: The Homes of England
Copyright (c) 2000-2017 Yesterday's Classics, LLC. All Rights Reserved.