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 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;
And warn us early with the sight
To leave the beds of silent night,
From a heart sincere and sound
From its very deepest ground,
Send devotion up on high

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