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Dear solitude, the soul's best friend, That man acquainted with himself dost make, And all his Maker's wonders to intend,

With thee I here converse at will,

And would be glad to do so still, For it is thou alone that keep'st the soul awake.

How calm and quiet a delight

Is it, alone,
To read and meditate and write,

By none offended, and offending none ! ! To walk, ride, sit, or sleep at one's own ease; And, pleasing a man's self, none other to displease.

Lord ! would men let me alone,
What an over-happy one

Should I think myself to be, —
Might I in this desert place
(Which most men in discourse disgrace)

Live but undisturbed and free! Here in this despised recess,

Would I, maugre winter's cold And the summer's worst excess,

Try to live out to sixty full years old ; And, all the while,

Without an envious eye
On any thriving under Fortune's smile,
Contented live, and then contented die.

CHARLES COTTON.

VERSES

O my beloved nymph, fair Dove,
Princess of rivers, how I love

Upon thy flowery banks to lie,
And view thy silver stream,
When gilded by a summer's beam !
And in it all thy wanton fry

Playing at liberty, And with my angle upon them

The all of treachery I ever learned, industriously to try!

SUPPOSED TO BE WRITTEN BY ALEXANDER SELKIRK

DURING HIS SOLITARY ABODE IN THE ISLAND OF JUAN FERNANDEZ.

I am monarch of all I survey,

My right there is none to dispute ; From the centre all round to the sen,

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.

Such streams Rome's yellow Tiber cannot show,
The Iberian Tagus, or Ligurian Po ;
The Maese, the Danube, and the Rhine,
Are puddle-water, all, compared with thine ;
And Loire's pure streams yet too polluted are
With thine, much purer, to compare ;
The rapid Garonne and the winding Seine

Are both too mean,
Beloved Dove, with thee

To vie priority;
Nay, Tame and Isis, when conjoined, submit,
And lay their trophies at thy silver feet.

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.

O my beloved rocks, that rise
To awe the earth and brave the skies !
From some aspiring mountain's crown

How dearly do I love,
Giddy with pleasure to look down,
And from the vales to view the noble heights

above !
O my beloved caves ! from dog-star's heat,
And all anxieties, my safe retreat ;
What safety, privacy, what true delight,

In the artificial night
Your gloomy entrails make,

Have I taken, do I take !
How oft, when grief has made me fly,
To hide me from society
E'en of my dearest friends, have I,

In your recesses' friendly shade,

All my sorrows open laid, And my most secret woes intrusted to your

privacy!

Society, friendship, and love,

Divinely bestowed 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 cheered by the sallies of youth.

Religion ! what treasure untold

Resides in that heavenly word ! 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, Never sighed at the sound of a knell,

Or smiled when a Sabbath appeared.

The deeds we do, the words we say,
Into still air they seem to fleet,

We count them ever past ;

But they shall last, —
In the dread judgment they

And we shall meet. .

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? 0, 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. There's mercy in every place,

And mercy - encouraging thought !Gives even affliction a grace,

And reconciles man to his lot.

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WILLIAM COWPER.

THE GOOD GREAT MAN. And there are some like springs, that bubbling How seldom, friend, a good great man inherits

burst Honor and wealth, with all his worth and pains!

To follow dusty ways, It seems a story from the world of spirits And run with offered cup to quench his thirst When any man obtains that which he merits,

i Where the tired traveller strays ; Or any merits that which he obtains.

That never ask the meadows if they want

What is their joy to give : For shame, my friend ! renounce this idle strain! Unasked, their lives to other life they grant, What wouldst thou have a good great man obtain? So self-bestowed they live! Wealth, title, dignity, a golden chain, Or heap of corses which his sword hath slain ? And One is like the ocean, deep and wide, Goodness and greatness are not means, but ends. Wherein all waters fall ; Hath he not always treasures, always friends, -- TT

That girdles the broail earth, and draws the tide, The good great man ? Three treasures,

Feeding and bearing all ;

love, That broods the mists, that sends the clouds and light,

abroad, And calm thoughts, equable as infant's breath;

That takes, again to give ; And three fast friends, more sure than day or

nan day or Even the great and loving heart of God, night, Himself, his Maker, and the angel Death.

Whereby all love doth live.

CAROLINE S. SPENCER. SAMUEL TAYLOR COLERIDGE.

EXAMPLE
WE scatter seeds with careless hand,
And dream we ne'er shall see them more ;

But for a thousand years

Their fruit appears, In weeds that mar the land,

Or healthful store.

THE SEASIDE WELL.
"Waters flowed over my head; then I said, I am cut oft." -
Lamentations, iii. 54.
ONE day I wåndered where the salt sea-tide

Backward had drawn its wave,
And found a spring as sweet as e'er hillside

To wild flowers gave.

ANONYMOUS

Freshly it sparkled in the sun's bright look, | Above my head the waves may come and go, And mid its pebbles strayed,

Long brood the deluge dire, As if it thought to join a happy brook

| But life lies hidden in the depths below In some green glade.

Till waves retire, -

Till death, that reigns with overflowing flood, But soon the heavy sea's resistless swell

At length withdraw its sway,
Came rolling in once more,
Spreading its bitter o'er the clear sweet well

And life rise sparkling in the sight of God

An endless day.
And pebbled shore.
Like a fair star thick buried in a cloud,

Or life in the grave's gloom,
The well, enwrapped in a deep watery shroud,

THE MEN OF OLD.
Sunk to its tomb.
As one who by the beach roams far and wide,

I KNOW not that the men of old
Remnant of wreck to save,

Were better than men now,
Again I wandered when the salt sea-tide

Of heart more kind, of hand more bold, Withdrew its wave ;

Of more ingenuous brow ;
And there, inchanged, no taint in all its sweet,

I heed not those who pine for force
No anger in its tone,

A ghost of time to raise,
Still as it thought some happy brook to meet,

As if they thus could check the course
The spring flowed on.

Of these appointed days.
While waves of bitterness rolled o'er its head,

Still it is true, and over-true,
Its heart had folded deep

That I delight to close
Within itself, and quiet fancies led,

This book of life self-wise and new,
As in a sleep ;

And let my thoughts repose
Till, when the ocean loosed his heavy chain,

On all that humble happiness
And gave it back to day,

The world has since foregone, --
Calmly it turned to its own life again

The daylight of contentedness
And gentle way.

That on those faces shone !
Happy, I thought, that which can draw its life
Deep from the nether springs,

With rights, though not too closely scanned,
Safe 'neath the pressure, tranquil mid the strife, I Enjoyed as far as known,
Of surface things.

With will by no reverse unmanned,
Safe — for the sources of the nether springs

With pulse of even tone,
Up in the far hills lie;

They from to-day, and from to-night,
Calm --- for the life its power and freshness brings Expected nothing more
Down from the sky.

Than yesterday and yesternight

Had proffered them before.
So, should temptations threaten, and should sin
Roll in its whelming flooil,

To them was life a simple art
Make strong the fountain of thy grace within

Of duties to be done,
My soul, O God !

A game where each man took his part,
If bitter scorn, and looks, once kind, grown

A race where all must run ;
strange,

A battle whose great scheme and scope
With crushing chillness fall,

They little cared to know,
From secret wells let sweetness rise, nor change

Content, as men-at-arms, to cope
My heart to gall !

Each with his fronting foe.
When sore thy hand doth press, and waves of
thine

Man now his virtue's diadem
Afflict me like a sea, -

Puts on, and proudly wears , -
Deep calling deep, -- infuse from source divine Great thoughts, great feelings, came to them,
Thy peace in me!

Like instincts unawares ;
And when death's tide, as with a brimful cup, Blending their souls' sublimest needs
Over my soul doth pour,

With tasks of every day
Let hope survive, -- a well that springeth up They went about their gravest deeds
Forevermore!

As noble boys at play.

And what if Nature's fearful wound

They did not probe and bare,
For that their spirits never swooned

To watch the misery there, -
For that their love but flowed more fast,

Their charities more free, Not conscious what mere drops they cast

Into the evil sea.

| A Maiden stands by the rose-bush fair,

The dewy blossoms perfume the air ;
She presses her hand to her throbbing breast,
With love's first wonderful rapture blest.

And the years glide by.

A Mother kneels by the rose-bush fair, Soft sigh the leaves in the evening air ; Sorrowing thoughts of the past arise', And tears of anguish bedim her eyes.

And the years glide by.

A man's best things are nearest him,

Lie close about his feet;
It is the distant and the dim

That we are sick to greet;
For flowers that grow our hands beneath

We struggle and aspire, --
Our hearts must die, except they breathe

The air of fresh desire.
Yet, brothers, who up reason's hill

Advance with hopeful cheer, --
Oh, loiter not, those heights are chill,

As chill as they are clear ;
And still restrain your haughty gaze

The loftier that ye go,
Remembering distance leaves a haze
On all that lies below.

RICHARD MONCKTON MILNES, LORD HOUGHTON.

Naked and lone stands the rose-bush fair,
Whirled are the leaves in the autunn air,
Withered and dead they fall to the ground,
And silently cover a new-made mound.

And the years glide hy.

From the German, by WILLIAM W. CALDWELL.

HISTORY OF A LIFE. Day dawned ; -- within a curtained room, Filled to faintness with perfume, A lady lay at point of doom. Day closed ; -- a Child had seen the light : But, for the lady fair and bright, She rested in undreaming night. Spring rose ; - the lady's grave was green ; And near it, oftentimes, was seen A gentle Boy with thoughtful mien. Years Red ; - he wore a manly face, And struggled in the world's rough race, And wou at last a lofty place. And then he died ! Behold before ye Humanity's poor sum and story; Life, — Death, - and all that is of Glory.

BRYAN WALLER PROCTER (Barry Cornwall).

LIFE. I MADE a posie, while the day ran by : “Here will I smell my remnant out, and tie

My life within this band.” But Time did beckon to the flowers, and they By noon most cunningly did steal away,

And withered in my hand. My hand was next to them, and then my heart ; I took, without more thinking, in good part

Time's gentle admonition ; Who did so sweetly death's sad taste convey, Making my minde to smell my fatall day,

Yet sug'ring the suspicion. Farewell, dear flowers ! sweetly your time ye

spent ; Fit, while ye lived, for smell or ornament,

Aud after death for cures. I follow straight without complaints or grief; Since, if my scent be good, I care not if

It be as short as yours.

GEORGE HERBERT

THE RIVER OF LIFE.

The more we live, more brief appear

Our life's succeeding stages ;
A day to childhood seems a year,

And years like passing ages.

THE ROSE-BUSH. A CHILD sleeps under a rose-bush fair, The buds swell out in the soft May air ; Sweetly it rests, and on dream-wings flies To play with the angels in Paradise.

And the years glide by.

The gladsome current of our youth,

Ere passion yet disorders, Steals lingering like a river smooth

Along its grassy borders,

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