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Concerning Resolution

Thomas Parnell 1679 (Dublin) – 1718

Happy the man whose firm resolves obtain
Assisting Grace to burst his sinfull chain
For him the Days with golden minutes glow
Tis his the Land where milk & hony flow
Justice & mercy piety & peace
Attend his workes & crown them with success
He hopes the best that is for heavn prepard
& wants no bliss while virtue can reward
That purpled hour which ushers in the light
& that which shuts its beautys up in night
Still hears him pray still sees his actions right
For him they still on easy minutes speed
& as they move for him the rest succeed

But most Alas by vain opinion lead
Ore the wild maze of erring passions tread
& now to this & now to that we go
& each desire & neither rightly know
& act irresolute in all we do
& seldom stay to search our objects through
Desire is vain & wanton free to range
Fond of a Chace & fond the Chace to Change
By turns a thousand inclinations rise
& each by turns as impotently dies
Now thought grows wild if loose Aminta's kind
Shee spreads her Charms & captivates the mind
Anon Aminta leaves the thought at ease
No more her aires & soft Allurements please
We love reclining in ye shady bowers
by running waters near sweet banks of flowrs
To surfeit nature with full bowles of wine
& with forcd appetites on bliss refine
Then buisy then fantastically wise
Then to be some thing else we streight devise
For Fancy still undreind affors supplys
tis thus if reason from the throne be gon
The madd affections bear their master on
His life proves restless & his labour vain
By hurrying after Phantomes of the brain
So the brave Falcon when its glorys fade
When its strong wings their generous forces shed
The vacant holds ignobler birds supply
With Ravens feathers impd she mounts on high
& weak or giddy strayes along the sky

In Every Change indeed resolves we make
But those resolves to settle newer break
By contradictions thus we seem to live
Nor want the colour of a cause to give
Kind heav'n forgive us when for what we do
We woud debauch our knack of reasning too
When int'rest does on thought its force dispence
When pleasure beats upon the dazzled sence
Our resolutions oft in vain are made
Kind heavn forgive the fault & lend thine aid.
If by thy law we must temptations find
If these must try the temper of the mind
We begg thee not to change thy good decree
We begg for pardon or support from thee
Our wisdome never shoud thy ways confine
but thus confess & humbly rest in thine
Tis well theres tryalls since the mans so proud
& since he's weak tis well theres Grace allowd.

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Submitted on May 13, 2011

2:25 min read
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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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    "Concerning Resolution" Poetry.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2021. Web. 28 Sep. 2021. <https://www.poetry.com/poem/37001/concerning-resolution>.

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