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141. SOLITUDE.

Hail, awful scenes, that calm the troubled breast,
And woo the weary to profound repose!

Can passion's wildest uproar lay to rest,
And whisper comfort to the man of woes?
Here Innocence may wander, safe from foes,
And Contemplation soar on seraph wings.
O Solitude! the man who thee foregoes,
When lucre lures him, or ambition stings,

Shall never know the source whence real grandeur springs.

The man to solitude accustom'd long,

-BEATTIE.

Perceives in everything that lives, a tongue;
Not animals alone, but shrubs and trees

Have speech for him, and understood with ease;
After long drought, when rains abundant fall,
He hears the herbs, and flowers rejoicing all;
Knows what the freshness of their hue implies,
How glad they catch the largess of the skies;
But, with precision nicer still, the mind

He scans of every locomotive kind;

Birds of all feather, beasts of every name,

That serve mankind, or shun them, wild or tame;
The looks and gestures of their griefs and fears
Have all articulation in his ears;

He spells them true by intuition's light,
And needs no glossary to set him right.-

-COWPER.

Solitude, though silent as light, is like

the

light, the mightiest of agencies, for solitude is essential to man. All men come into this world alone, all leave it alone.

Solitude is the parent of reflection.

I was never less alone than when by myself.

-GIBBON.

He was never less at leisure than when he was at leisure, nor less alone than when he was alone.

-PUBLIUS SCIPIO.

They are never alone that are accompanied by

noble thoughts.

-SIR P. SIDNEY.

All mischief comes from our not being able to be alone; hence play, luxury, dissipation, wine, ignorancə, calumny, envy, forgetfulness of one's self and of God.

-BRUYERE.

Solitude shows us what we should be,

Society shows us what we are.

It is easy in the

world to live after the world's solitude to live after our own;

opinion; it is easy in but the great man is he who in the midst of the crowd keeps with perfect sweetness the independence of soli

tude.

-EMERSON.

Lovely indeed art thou, O Solitude!

And good and bad to thy calm refuge fly:
For the deep forest and the starry sky

Make good men better, and make bad men good.

Yet art thou not too strictly to be woo'd:
For, like those poisons whose fine quality
Can still the throb of corporal agony,

But, drunk too oft, death-like arrest the blood;
Thus, Solitude, thy influence soothes the mind,
Thus lulls it in a sweet but dire repose,
Till man forgets the feelings of his kind,

And Heaven's best purposes in life foregoes,
Who bade him not to shrink, but bear resigned,
And mitigate, not fly from others' woes.
-C. JOHNSTON.

*

Supposed to be written by Alexander Selkirk during his solitary abode on 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

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.

From Selections by Emily Taylor.

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,
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 cheer'd 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, Ne'er 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? Oh tell me I yet have a friend, Though a friend I am never to see.

How fleet is the glance of the mind! Compar'd 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.

-CowPER.

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