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WILLIAM C. SOMERVILLE
English poet
(1675 - 1742)

Adversity, sage useful guest,
  Severe instructor, but the best,
    It is from thee alone we know
      Justly to value things below.
      - [Adversity]

At length the sun began to peep,
  And glid the surface of the deep.
      - [Sun]

Each animal,
  By natural instinct taught, spares his own kind,
    But man, the tyrant man! revels at large,
      Freebooter unrestrain'd, destroys at will
        The whole creation; men and beasts his prey;
          These for his pleasure, for his glory those.
      - [Tyrants]

Let cavillers deny,
  That brutes have reason; sure 'tis something more,
    'Tis heaven directs, and stratagems inspires
      Beyond the short extent of human thought.
      - [Animals : Reason]

O happy if ye knew your happy state,
  Ye rangers of the fields! whom nature's boon
    Cheers with her smiles, and ev'ry element
      Conspires to bless.
      - [Country]

O mercy, heav'ly born! Sweet attribute.
  Thou great, thou best prerogative of power!
    Justice may guard the throne, but join'd with thee,
      On rocks of adamant, it stands secure,
        And braves the storm beneath.
      - [Mercy]

See there he comes, th' exalted idol comes!
  The circle's form'd, and all his fawning slaves
    Devoutly bow to earth; from every mouth
      The nauseous flattery flows, which he returns
        With promises which die as soon as born.
          Vile intercourse, where virtue has no place!
            Frown but the monarch, all his glories fade;
              He mingles with the throng, outcast, undone,
                The pageant of a day; without one friend
                  To soothe his tortur'd mind; all, all are fled,
                    For though they bask'd in his meridian ray,
                      The insects vanish as his beams decline.
      - [Court]

Whatever of earth is form'd, to earth returns,
  * * * The soul
    Of man alone, that particle divine,
      Escapes the wreck of worlds, when all things fail.
      - [Soul]

Frail empire of a day! That with the setting sun extinct is lost.
      - Hobbinol, or The Rural Games
         (canto III, l. 326) [Day]

He taught them how to live and how to die.
      - In Memory of the Rev. Mr. Moore (l. 21)
        [Preaching]

The bird
  That glads the night had cheer'd the listening groves with sweet complainings.
      - The Chace [Birds]

My hoarse-sound horn
  Invites thee to the chase, the sport of kings.
      - The Chase [Chase]

Hail, gentle Dawn! mild blushing goddess, hail!
  Rejoic'd I see thy purple mantle spread
    O'er half the skies, gems pave thy radiant way,
      And orient pearls from ev'ry shrub depend.
      - The Chase (bk. II, l. 79) [Morning : Sunrise]

Hail, blooming Youth!
  May all your virtues with your years improve,
    Till in consummate worth you shine the pride
      Of these our days, and succeeding times
        A bright example.
      - The Chase (bk. III, l. 389) [Youth]

Whate'er of earth is form'd, to earth returns,
  . . . The soul
    Or man alone, that particle divine,
      Escapes the wreck of worlds, when all things fail.
      - The Chase (bk. IV, l. 1) [Soul]

Fortune is like a widow won,
  And truckles to the bold alone.
      - The Fortune-Hunter (canto II) [Fortune]

Prostrate on earth the bleeding warrior lies,
  And Isr'el's beauty on the mountains dies.
    How are the mighty fallen!
      Hush'd be my sorrow, gently fall my tears,
        Lest my said tale should reach the alien's ears:
          Bid Fame be dumb, and tremble to proclaim
            In heathen Gath, or Ascalon, our shame
              Lest proud Philistia, lest our haughty foe,
                With impious scorn insult our solemn woe.
      - The Lamentation of David over Saul and Jonathan
        [Soldiers]

For the next inn he spurs amain,
  In haste alights, and skuds away,
    But time and tide for no man stay.
      - The Sweet-Scented Miser (l. 98) [Time]


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