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Meditation Before Sacrament

Thomas Parnell 1679 (Dublin) – 1718



Arise my soul & hast away
Thy god doth call & canst thou stay
Thee to his table he invites
To tast of heavenly delights
He sufferd death to sett thee free
From sin; & canst thou slothfull be
To serve him should he for it call
Thy life would be a gift too small
But he desires to make it Blest
And now Invites thee to a feast
A feast of the divinest food
A feast of our own saviours flesh & blood
For shame dull sluggish soul arise
Wilt thou so great a good despise
You'de earthly kings obey with pride
& is ye king of heav'n deni'de
Thou know'st not what this act doth mean
Or would'st not sure be Backward then
The god who all has made tis he
Invites so base a worm as thee
& wilt thou then ungratefull be
No Ld I come & be thou kind
In mercy to me wretchd & blind
The way thou must not onely shew
But give me eyes to find it too
Each step I take yn to thy holy place
Ile utter Halelujahs to thy praise

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Submitted on May 13, 2011

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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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