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Yet is thy root sincere, sound as the rock,
So stands a kingdom, whose foundation yet
and semblance only of itself!
Thine arms have left thee. Winds have rent
Long since, and rovers of the forest wild.
But since, although well qualified by age
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;
Wash'd headlong from on board,
No braver chief could Albion boast,
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
That, pitiless, perforce,
They left their outcast mate behind,
Some succour yet they could afford;
The cask, the coop, the floated cord,
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,
Alone could rescue them;
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,
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
That tells his name, his worth, his age
And tears by bards or heroes shed
I therefore purpose not, or dream,
To give the melancholy theme
No voice divine the storm allay'd,
But I beneath a rougher sea,
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.