Thomas Parnell

(1679 - 1718 / Ireland)

Biography of Thomas Parnell

Thomas Parnell poet

Thomas Parnell is more remembered for the fact that Johnson wrote his biography than for his poetry, which was published by Pope after his death.

Parnell was born in Dublin in 1679 to a man of commonwealth, also by the name of Thomas Parnell. At the age of fourteen, he entered Trinity College of Dublin, and at the age of twenty became deacon in the Episcopal church. Being promoted to archdeacon, in 1706 he married the daughter of Thomas Minchin of Tipperary. Five years later, she died. Around this time, he became more deeply attached to the Scribblerus circle. He wrote the introduction to Pope's Iliad. In 1718, just two years after being presented the vicarage of Finglass, he died on the way to Ireland (presumably of heavy drink).

The only poems published during his lifetime were in periodicals. After his death, his friends published some of his best poems and wrote his elgy. His biography is in the famous Samuel Johnson's Lives of the Poets.

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A Hymn For Evening

The beam-repelling mists arise,
And evening spreads obscurer skies;
The twilight will the night forerun,
And night itself be soon begun.
Upon thy knees devoutly bow,
And pray the Lord of glory now
To fill thy breast, or deadly sin
May cause a blinder night within.
And whether pleasing vapours rise

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