Yet is thy root sincere, sound as the rock,
A quarry of stout spurs, and knotted fangs,
Which, crook'd into a thousand whimsies, clasp
The stubborn soil, and hold thee still erect.

So stands a kingdom, whose foundation yet
Fails not, in virtue and in wisdom laid,
Though all the superstructure, by the tooth
Pulveriz'd of venality, a shell
Stands now,

and semblance only of itself!

Thine arms have left thee. Winds have rent

them off

Long since, and rovers of the forest wild.
With bow and shaft, have burnt them.
A splinter'd stump, bleach'd to a snowy white;
And some, memorial none, where once they grew.
Yet life still lingers in thee, and puts forth
Proof not contemptible of what she can,
Even where death predominates. The spring
Finds thee not less alive to her sweet force,
Than yonder upstarts of the neighb'ring wood,
So much thy juniors, who their birth receiv'd
Half a millennium since the date of thine.


Some have

But since, although well qualified by age
To teach, no spirit dwells in thee, nor voice
May be expected from thee, seated here
On thy distorted root, with hearers none,
Or prompter, save the scene, I will perform
Myself the oracle, and will discourse

In my own ear such matter as I may.



One man alone, the father of us all, Drew not his life from woman; never gaz'd, With mute unconsciousness of what he saw, On all around him; learn'd not by degrees, Nor ow'd articulation to his ear; But, moulded by his Maker into man At once, upstood intelligent, survey'd All creatures, with precision understood Their purport, uses, properties, assign'd To each his name significant, and, fill'd With love and wisdom, render'd back to Heaven In praise harmonious the first air he drew. He was excus'd the penalties of dull Minority. No tutor charg d his hand With the thought-tracing quill, or task'd his mind With problems. History, not wanted yet, Lean'd on her elbow, watching Time, whose course, Eventful, should supply her with a theme.


OBSCUREST night involv'd the sky;
Th' Atlantic billows roar'd,
When such a destin'd 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 he went,
Nor ever ship left Albion's coast,
With warmer wishes sent.

He lov'd 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 wag'd 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,

The cask, the coop, the floated cord,
Delay'd not to bestow.

But he, they knew, nor ship nor shore, Whate'er they gave, should visit more.

Nor, cruel as it seem'd, could he

Their haste himself condemn,
Aware that flight, in such a sea,

Alone could rescue them;
Yet bitter felt it still to die
Deserted, and his friends so nigh.

He long survives, who lives an hour In ocean, self-upheld:

And so long he, with unspent pow'r,

His destiny repell'd:

And ever as the minutes flew, Entreated help, or cried - "Adieu!"

At length, his transient respite past,
His comrades, who before
Had heard his voice in ev'ry blast,

Could catch the sound no more. For then, by toil subdued, he drank The stifling wave, and then he sank.

No poet wept him; but the page
Of narrative sincere,

That tells his name, his worth, his age
Is wet with Anson's tear.

And tears by bards or heroes shed
Alike immortalize the dead.

I therefore purpose not, or dream,
Descanting on his fate,

To give the melancholy theme
A more enduring date.
But misery still delights to trace
It's semblance in another's case.

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.



JAMES BEATTIE, an admired poet and a moralist, was born about 1735, in the county of Kincardine, in Scotland. His father was a small farmer, who, though living in indigence, had imbibed so much of the spirit of his country, that he procured for his son a literary education, first at a parochial school, and then at the college of New Aberdeen, in which he entered as a bursar or exhibitioner. In the intervals of the sessions, James is supposed to have added to his scanty pittance by teaching at a country-school. Returning to Aberdeen, he obtained the situation of assistant to the master of the principal grammar-school, whose daughter he married. From youth he had cultivated a talent for poetry; and in 1760 he ventured to submit the fruit of his studies in this walk to the public, by a volume of "Original Poems and Translations." They were followed, in 1765, by " The Judgment of Paris;" and these performances, which displayed a familiarity with poetic diction, and harmony of versification, seem to have made him favourably known in his neighbourhood.


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