« PreviousContinue »
THE POPLAR FIELD.
The poplars are felled, farewell to the shade, And the whispering sound of the cool colon
nade; The winds play no longer and sing in the leaves, Nor Ouse on his bosom their image receives.
Twelve years have elapsed, since I last took
a view Of my favourite field, and the bank where they
grew; And now in the grass behold they are laid, And the tree is my seat, that once lent me a
The blackbird has fled to another retreat,
heat; And the scene, where his melody charmed me
before, Resounds with his sweet-flowing ditty no more.
My fugitive years are all hasting away,
With a turf on ny breast, and a stone at my
head, Ere another such grove shall arise in its stead.
The change both my heart and my fancy
employs, I reflect on the frailty of man, and his joys ; Short-lived as we are, yet our pleasures, we see, Have a still shorter date, and die sooner than we.
The rose had been washed, just washed in a
shower, Which Mary to Anna conveyed, The plentiful moisture encumbered the flower,
And weighed down its beautiful head.
The cup was all filled, and the leaves were all wet,
And it seemed to a fanciful view,
On the flourishing bush where it grew.
I hastily seized it, unfit as it was,
For a nosegay, so dripping and drown'd, And swinging it rudely, too rudely, alas !
I snapped it-it fell to the ground.
And such, I exclaimed, is the pitiless part
Some act by the delicate mind,
Already to sorrow resigned.
This elegant rose, had I shaken it less,
Might have bloomed with its owner awhile, And the tear that is wiped with a little address, May be followed perhaps by a smile.
SUPPOSED TO BE WRITTEN BY ALEXANDER SELKIRK, DURING HIS SOLITARY ABODE ON A DESERT ISLAND.
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. Oh, 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 bestowed 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 cheered by the sallies of youth.
Religion ! what treasure untold
Resides in that heavenly word !
Or all that this earth can afford.
These valleys and rocks never heard,
Or smiled when a sabbath appeared.
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 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.
And mercy, encouraging thought !