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Satyr VI. The Spleen

Hail to the sacred silence of this Grove
Hail to the greens below the greens above
Oft have I found beneath these shady trees
A reall in imaginary bliss
for they my fancy sooth she's a cheat
Which can agreably adorn deceit
some state of life she draws with pleasing art
brings Enchanted reason to her part
Reason awhile is captive by consent
acts from all its rigid rules unbent
from our own selves conceales our reall case
Nor shows us what may be but what may please
When I by these am from my self with drawn
I straight become what ere I think upon

Now do I turn a statesman of the rate
that furnishes the world beside with chat
I many use I make a friend of none
if I flatter tis my prince alone
Mankind well versd in various villany
Misrepresent each study'd Case to me
in long petitions a present fee
sayes one your Lordship has ye royall ear
I some articles against me fear
for sinking publick funds in such a year
Then on my chair he layes a bag of coin
Nor dares to offer what he woud have mine
Another cryes I want a place at Court
Your Lships word woud make ye buisness short
I present two hundred guinnys for't
This as I take it is a life of state
when I think of this I think Ime great
But now a leaf is noisy by my head
My chain is broke all my greatness fled
In vain I woud recall the vanishd thought
Something I know did please I cant tell what
as I hunt the traces of my mind
In a new whim a new delight I find

Now among books my chief diversion lyes
I affect to be thought wondrous wise
in strange experiment discovery's
On All ye sorts shapes of flyes I read
Or print a book of shells as Lister did
when I meet a thing unknown till yn
I write for Holland to ye Learned men
the subtiltys of schooles with ease I cutt
Where learnings nothing but a meer dispute
With Ipse Dixit's fixd for arguments
quibbles formd by rules hid with pains
Waging a warr of words in spight of sense
My skill in many languages is shown
Altho' I gracefully can speak in none
No Cares no business do my brain molest
the world admires the treasures of my breast
I in barren satisfaction rest

Here do I change Insensibly again
my gay fancy paints another scene
Heark or a pleasing madness charms my sense
Or I hear songs well tund instruments
Yes tis a ball where I with airs cloths
Engage the Ladys outshine the beaus
I chuse a creature beautious as the light
Of her I beg she denys a night
Scorn with the fair does still attendant go
they're proud because their outward charms they know
fondly think them reasons to be so
But passion hearts of any temper moves
Anon shes complaisant anon she loves
When sated with the bliss their arms I quitt
I boast my triumph to each friend I meet
for men are now so scandalously vain
They think it less of pleasure to obtain
their Joys then tell 'em or'e to other men
more of grief to hide the ripe amour
then twas to smother infant love before
I drink I dance I swear I shake ye dice
try each path of pleasurable vice
till at ye last my wild unsettled life
like Comedys is finishd in a wife

by Just degrees the breezes louder grow
the same breast they sooth they roughen too
Methinks Ime strangely alterd in a trice
All soft unmanly pleasures I despise
Warr is my buisness honour is my prize
I grasp it in my thoughts push along
Nor mind the toiles by which it must be won
With such bewitching powr the walking light
leads men thro' all the dangers of the night
Ore hills vales they hunt the dazzling game
Nor feel the trouble while they see the flame
Strange force of Glory what a world are slain
to please the pride of two or three great men
how towns have fed on ratts yt scornd to yield
how dear ye hardy soldier buys ye field
Warm without anger to their arms they crowd
for anothers quarrell wast their blood
some fight curse while others run pray
In Camps they rook each other at their play
then the loosers mutiny for pay
are my brave followers slain why lett ym dy
false musterd companys my purse supply
Thus summers fraud feeds winters luxury
When in warm quarters nature craves a punk
for the Queen I loyally get drunk

Give ore my wanton fancy now give ore
the clouds are gath'ring anon they'le powr
the pleasures of my groves are fled away
the sacred silence ye shiny day
what have you then to lull you in your play

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Submitted on May 13, 2011

4:12 min read

Quick analysis:

Closest metre Iambic pentameter
Characters 4,194
Words 832
Stanzas 6
Stanza Lengths 14, 23, 17, 24, 25, 5

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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