Biography of Thomas Parnell
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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Thomas Parnell Poems
A Night-Piece On Death
By the blue taper's trembling light, No more I waste the wakeful night, Intent with endless view to pore The schoolmen and the sages o'er:
Far in a wild, unknown to public view, From youth to age a rev'rend hermit grew; The moss his bed, the cave his humble cell, His food the fruits, his drink the crystal well:
A Beavy Of The Fair & Gay
A Beavy of the fair & Gay, Such as are daily Smoakt in tea, & toasted over wine, Vext to be made so long the Jeast
Look mercyfully down O Lord & wash us from our sinn Cleanse us from wicked deeds without from wicked thoughts within
An Elegy, To An Old Beauty
In vain, poor Nymph, to please our youthful sight You sleep in cream and frontlets all the night, Your face with patches soil, with paint repair, Dress with gay gowns, and shade with foreign hair.
When thy beauty appears In its graces and airs All bright as an angel new dropp'd from the sky, At distance I gaze and am awed by my fears:
A Hymn To Contentment
Lovely, lasting peace of mind! Sweet delight of human-kind! Heavenly-born, and bred on high, To crown the fav'rites of the sky
On The Number Three
Beauty rests not in one fix'd Place, But seems to reign in every Face; 'Tis nothing sure, but Fancy then, In various Forms bewitching Men;
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.
A Hymn For Morning
See the star that leads the day Rising shoots a golden ray, To make the shades of darkness go From heaven above and earth below;
Satyr V. Verse
Thou soft Engager of my tender years Divertive verse now come & ease my cares The Rake has wine the aged knave ye view
A Impromptu Like Martial
Gays gon out early, how comes it to pass? Not that he has buisness, but thinks that he has
A Parody Of Donec Gratus Eram In A Dialo...
He. When first my Biddy love profest My rapture ran so high Not Gentle S---s fondly prest To beautious G---s panting breast
A Hymn For Noon
The sun is swiftly mounted high; It glitters in the southern sky; Its beams with force and glory beat, And fruitful earth is fill'd with heat.
A Night-Piece On Death
By the blue taper's trembling light,
No more I waste the wakeful night,
Intent with endless view to pore
The schoolmen and the sages o'er:
Their books from wisdom widely stray,
Or point at best the longest way.
I'll seek a readier path, and go
Where wisdom's surely taught below.