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Anacreontick II

Thomas Parnell 1679 (Dublin) – 1718

When Spring came on with fresh Delight,
To cheer the Soul, and charm the Sight,
While easy Breezes, softer Rain,
And warmer Suns salute the Plain;
'Twas then, in yonder Piny Grove,
That Nature went to meet with Love.

Green was her Robe, and green her Wreath,
Where-e'er she trod, 'twas green beneath;
Where-e'er she turn'd, the Pulses beat
With new recruits of Genial Heat;
And in her Train the Birds appear,
To match for all the coming Year.

Rais'd on a Bank, where Daizys grew,
And Vi'lets intermix'd a Blew,
She finds the Boy she went to find;
A thousand Pleasures wait behind,
Aside, a thousand Arrows lye,
But all unfeather'd wait to fly.

When they met, the Dame and Boy,
Dancing Graces, idle Joy,
Wanton Smiles, and airy Play,
Conspir'd to make the Scene be gay;
Love pair'd the Birds through all the Grove,
And Nature bid them sing to Love,
Sitting, hopping, flutt'ring, sing,
And pay their Tribute from the Wing,
To fledge the Shafts that idly lye,
And yet unfeather'd wait to fly.

'Tis thus, when Spring renews the Blood,
They meet in ev'ry trembling Wood,
And thrice they make the Plumes agree,
And ev'ry Dart they mount with three,
And ev'ry Dart can boast a Kind,
Which suits each proper turn of Mind.

From the tow'ring Eagle's Plume
The Gen'rous Hearts accept their Doom;
Shot by the Peacock's painted Eye
The vain and airy Lovers dye:
For careful Dames and frugal Men,
The Shafts are speckled by the Hen.
The Pyes and Parrots deck the Darts,
When Prattling wins the panting Hearts:
When from the Voice the Passions spring,
The warbling Finch affords a Wing:
Together, by the Sparrow stung,
Down fall the wanton and the young:
And fledg'd by Geese the Weapons fly,
When others love they know not why.

All this (as late I chanc'd to rove)
I learn'd in yonder waving Grove.
And see, says Love, (who call'd me near)
How much I deal with Nature here,
How both support a proper Part,
She gives the Feather, I the Dart:
Then cease for Souls averse to sigh,
If Nature cross ye, so do I;
My Weapon there unfeather'd flies,
And shakes and shuffles through the Skies.
But if the mutual Charms I find
By which she links you, Mind to Mind,
They wing my Shafts, I poize the Darts,
And strike from both, through both your Hearts.

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Submitted on May 13, 2011

2:09 min read

Thomas Parnell

Thomas Parnell was an Anglo-Irish poet and clergyman who was a friend of both Alexander Pope and Jonathan Swift. He was the son of Thomas Parnell of Maryborough, Queen's County now Port Laoise, County Laoise}, a prosperous landowner who had been a loyal supporter of Cromwell during the English Civil War and moved to Ireland after the restoration of the monarchy. Thomas was educated at Trinity College, Dublin and collated archdeacon of Clogher in 1705. He however spent much of his time in London, where he participated with Pope, Swift and others in the Scriblerus Club, contributing to The Spectator and aiding Pope in his translation of The Iliad. He was also one of the so-called "Graveyard poets": his 'A Night-Piece on Death,' widely considered the first "Graveyard School" poem, was published posthumously in Poems on Several Occasions, collected and edited by Alexander Pope and is thought by some scholars to have been published in December of 1721 (although dated in 1722 on its title page, the year accepted by The Concise Oxford Chronology of English Literature; see 1721 in poetry, 1722 in poetry). It is said of his poetry 'it was in keeping with his character, easy and pleasing, ennunciating the common places with felicity and grace. more…

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