Verses Supposed To Be Written by Alexander Selkirk

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For other versions of this work, see The Solitude of Alexander Selkirk.
Verses Supposed To Be Written by Alexander Selkirk
by William Cowper
80563Verses Supposed To Be Written by Alexander SelkirkWilliam Cowper (1731-1800)

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,
O had I the wings of a dove
    How soon I would 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 world!
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,
Ne'er sighed 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!
    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 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 is mercy in every place,
    And mercy, encouraging thought!
Gives even affliction a grace
    And reconciles man to his lot.

This work was published before January 1, 1929, and is in the public domain worldwide because the author died at least 100 years ago.

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