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On Content



Grant heav'n that I may chuse my bliss
If you design me worldly Happiness
Tis not Honour thats but air
Glory has but fancied light
Fame as oft speak's false as right
Riches have wings & ever dwell with care
Give me an undistemperd mind
As ye third region undisturbd by wind
Content from passions ever free
to rule ones selfs indeed a monarchy
this I request of thee

Tho all we see are fortunes apes
& change as oft as she their shapes
Tho my kinder fortune leave me
Tho my dearest friends deceive me
I in this universall tide
firm on heav'ns mercy would abide
& 'mongst ye giddy waves securely ride
Tho they should die
Who never did my love abuse
Perhaps in tears I would my passion vent
But straight again I'de be content
Remembring 'twas th' almighty's deed tho I
should my best relations loose
Ide sighing cry Heav'ns will be done
It did but lend them now it has its own.
Fortune should never be
Adored as a deity by me
She onely makes them fooles who make her great
But still content on earth intent on heav'n I'de be
an equall temper keep in ev'ry state
nor Care nor fear my destiny
Death when most dreadfull should not fright
Wn ere he comes Ide patiently submitt
Content thus in my soul should build its halcyons nest
As did thy spirit on ye waters rest
& keep an everlasting calm with in my breast.

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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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    "On Content" Poetry.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2021. Web. 29 Nov. 2021. <https://www.poetry.com/poem/37035/on-content>.

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