Thomas Parnell

(1679 - 1718 / Ireland)

A Dream


Just when ye dead of night began to fail
& boding visions senceless dreams expell
Methought a matron stood beside my bed
Upon her face a wondrous sweetness playd
& pointed Glorys dressd the modest visions head
my tongue grew speechless & my eyes were fixt
by silent fear with admiration mixt
She to my lips a living coal apply's
perhaps from some well pleasing sacrifice
then thus she said while I more courage found
to bear her sight & hear ye heav'nly sound
from the bright realms my vot'ries have I came
saints are my vot'ries Piety my name
Oft do I come but often am dispisd
happy were all if all my favour prizd
now my best offers to yr soul I give
Accept these offers O be mine & live
Ile teach you how to pray for wt you want
& when I teach you God yr prayr will grant
Ile teach you your redeemer to rehearse
& glide in flames of love along yr verse
Lett other men describe wth flowing lines
How Damon courts or Amarillis shines
But for your subject chuse a theme divine
fames their reward while heaven it self is thine
& then since Angells sing of nought below
they'le sing like men but like an angell you
Be thou my bard (& as these words she said
She powrd a sacred unction on my head
then thus proceeded) Be thy muse thy Zeal
dare to be good & all my Joys reveal
if Drunkards to their Deity apply
A short contentment & a fleeting Joy
Apply to me true peace & lasting bliss
I should not dress in weaker charms yn his
New-paint ye love yt hov'ring over beds
from purple wings his guilty pleasures sheds
his bow be sable sable be the darts
but tingd with endless flame to scorch our hearts
his bones without the sanguin stream or vital parts
But above all employ thy utmost powr
on love Divine twill need it all & more
Oh boundless Goodness to poor mankind shown
tell but the fact, lett rhetorick alone,
no colours can become it like its own.
Draw a Descending Jesus from ye sky
Make the great being in a manger ly
Of men despisd of men he came to save
pursu'd afflicted to ye very grave
Make ye great being cheerfully submitt
& me like Mary weeping at his feet
Much have I said & more woud tell you yet
but raptures smother what I woud repeat
My thoughts grow giddy while I strive to sound
the height & depth of love wthout a bound
My God I cannot comprehend thy wayes
but what I cannot comprehend Ile prayse

& then With raptures in her mouth she fled
the Cloud (for on a cloud she seemd to tread)
its curles unfolded & around her spread
My downy rest the warmth of fancy broke
& when my thoughts grew settled thus I spoke

Ah Gracious Lord make all my dreams like this
& make mine innocence compose my bliss
When reason lyes Asleep & leaves to reign
May my good Angell my passions restrain
Or I must wake to find upon my breast
the gaudy forms more deep yn ere imprest
they'le make my reason's victorys in vain
& make my former habits mine again
Thus if the snake wch hardly moves the tail
to shun the conqu'ring season takes a cell
if nature in a sleep a skin prepare
give him more strength & make him look more fair
He finds his robe is changd fm what he wore
He proudly shoots along ye sunny shore
& hunts the man fm whom he fled before.

Submitted: Saturday, April 17, 2010

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