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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, 0, 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. Religion! what treasure untold
Resides in that heavenly word!
Or all that this earth can afford.
These valleys and rocks never heard, Never sigh'd 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 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 And mercy, encouraging thought! Gives even affliction a grace,
And reconciles man to his lot.
OBSCUREST night involved the sky,
The Atlantic billows roar'd, When such a destined wretch as I,
Wash'd headlong from on board, Of friends, of hope, of all bereft, His floating home for ever left.
No braver chief could Albion boast
Than he with whom we went, Nor ever ship left Albion's coast
With warmer wishes sent. He loved them both, but both in vain, Nor him beheld, nor her again.
Not long beneath the whelming brine,
Expert to swim, he lay; Nor soon he felt his strength decline,
Or courage die away; But waged with death a lasting strife, Supported by despair of life.
He shouted: nor his friends had fail'd
To check the vessel's course, But so the furious blast prevail'd,
That, pitiless perforce, They left their outcast mate behind, And scudded still before the wind.
Some succour yet they could afford;
And, such as storms allow,
Delay'd not to bestow.
Nor, cruel as it seem'd, could he
Their haste himself condemn,
Alone could rescue them;
He long survives who lives an hour
In ocean, self-upheld :
His destiny repellid:
At length, his transient respite pass'd,
His comrades, who before
Could catch the sound no more:
No poet wept him : but the page
Of narrative sincere,
Is wet with Anson's tear:
I therefore purpose not, or dream,
Descanting on his fate,
A more enduring date;
No voice divine the storm allay'd,
No light propitious shone; When snatch'd from all effectual aid,
We perish'd each alone; But I beneath a rougher sea, And whelm'd in deeper gulfs than he.