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And keep the polish of the manners clean,
As their's, who bustle in the busiest scene.
For solitude, however some may rave,
Seeming a sanctuary, proves a grave,
A sepulchre, in which the living lie,
Where all good qualities grow sick and die.
I praise the Frenchman; his remark was shrewd,
How sweet, how passing sweet, is solitude!
But grant me still a friend in my retreat,
Whom I may whisper-Solitude is sweet.
Yet neither these delights, nor aught beside,
That appetite can ask, or wealth provide,
Can save us always from a tedious day,
Or shine the dulness of still life away;
Divine communion, carefully enjoyed,
Or sought with energy, must fill the void.
Oh! sacred art, to which alone life owes
Its happiest seasons, and a peaceful close,
Scorned in a world, indebted to that scorn,
For evils daily felt and hardly borne.
These, and a thousand plagues, that haunt the

Fond of the phantom of an earthly rest,
Divine communion, chases, as the day
Drives to their dens the obedient beasts of prey.
Religion does not censure or exclude
Unnumbered pleasures harmlessly pursued;
To study culture, and with artful toil
To meliorate and tame the stubborn soil :
To cherish virtue in an humble state,
And share the joys your bounty may create;
To mark the matchless workings of the power,
That shuts within its seed the future flower,
To teach the canvass innocent deceit,
Or lay the landscape on the snowy sheet:
These, these are arts pursued without a crime,
That leave no stain upon the wing of time.


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From the Task. Book 3. Domestic happiness, thou only bliss Of Paradise, that hast survived the Fall! Though few now taste thee unimpaired and pure, Or tasting long enjoy thee! too infirm, Or too incautious, to preserve thy sweets Unmixt with drops of bitter, which neglect Or temper sheds into thy crystal cup; Thou art the nurse of Virtue, in thine arms She smiles, appearing, as in truth she is, Heaven-born, and destined to the skies again. Thou art not known where Pleasure is adored, That reeling goddess with the zoneless waist And wandering eyes, still leaning on the arm Of Novelty, her fickle frail support; For thou art meek and constant, hating change, And finding in the calm of truth-tried love Joys, that her stormy raptures never yield. Forsaking thee, what shipwreck have we made Of honour, dignity, and fair renown! Till Prostitution elbows us aside In all our crowded streets, and senates seem Convened for purposes of empire less, Than to release the adultress from her bond. The adultress! what a theme for angry verse! What provocation to the indignant heart, That feels for injured love! but I disdain The nauseous task to paint her as she is. Whom matrons now of character unsmirch’d, And chaste themselves, are not ashamed to own. Virtue and Vice had boundaries in old time Not to be passed : and she, that had renounc'd Her sex's honour, was renounced herself By all that prized it; not for prudery's sake, But dignity's, resentful of the wrong. Twas hard perhaps on here and there a waif,

Desirous to return, and not receiv'd,
But was an wholesome rigour in the main,
And taught the unblemished to preserve with care
That purity whose loss was loss of all.
Men too were nice in honour in those days,
And judged offenders well.-But now, yes, now
We are become so candid and so fair,
So liberal in construction, and so rich
In Christian charity, (good-natured age !)
That they are safe, sinners of either sex,
Transgress what laws they may,
Hypocrisy, detest her as we may,
(And no man's hatred ever wrong'd her yet)
May elaim this merit still that she admits
The worth of what she mimics with such care,
And thus gives virtue indirect applause;
But she has burnt her mask not needed here,
Where vice has such allowance, that her shifts
And specious semblances have lost their use.
ALEXANDER SELKIRK during his solitary Abode

in the Island of Juan Fernandes.
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,

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 bestowed upon man, O 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,

Ånd be cheered by the sallies of youth. Religion !--what treasure untold

Resides in that heavenly word!
More precious than silver or gold,

Or all that this earth can afford.
But the sound of the church-going bell

These valleys and rocks never heard ; Never sighed 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?
O 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 has gone to her nest,

The beast has laid down in his lair :
Ev'n here is a season of rest,
And I to my cabin repair.

There's mercy in every place :

And mercy, encouraging thought! Gives even affiction a grace,

And reconciles man to his lot.


O That those lips had language! Life has pass’d
With me but roughly since I heard thee last.
Those lips are thine—thy own sweet smile I see,
The same, that oft in childhood solac'd me;
Voice only fails, else how distinct they say,
“Grieve not, my child, chase all thy fears away!”
The meek intelligence of those dear eyes
(Blest be the art that can immortalize,
The art that baffles Time's tyrannic claim
To quench it) here shines on me still the same.
Faithful remembrancer of one so dear,
O welcome guest, though unexpected here!
Who bidd'st me honour with an artless song,
Affectionate, a mother lost so long.
I will obey, not willingly alone,
But gladly, as the precept were her own:
And, while that face renews my filial grief,
Fancy shall weave a charm for


relief, Shall steep me in Elysian reverie, A momentary dream, that thou art she. My Mother! when I learn'd that thou wast dead, Say, wast thou conscious of the tears I shed ? Hover'd'thy spirit o'er thy sorr’wing son, Wretch even then, life's journey just begun? Perhaps thou gav'st me, though unseen, a kiss; Perhaps a tear, if souls can weep in blissAh that maternal smile! it answers, Yes. I heard the bell toll’d on thy burial day, I saw the hearse that bore thee slow away, And, turning from my nurs’ry window, drew A long, long sigh, and wept a last adieu !

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