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The Happy Man



How bless'd the man, how fully so,
As far as man is bless'd below,
Who taking up his cross essays
To follow Jesus all his days,
With resolution to obey,
And steps enlarging in his way.
The Father of the saints above
Adopts him with a Father's love,
And makes his bosom throughly shine
With wond'rous stores of grace divine;
Sweet grace divine the pledge of joy
That will his soul above employ;
Full joy, that when his time is done
Becomes his portion as a son.
Ah me! the sweet infus'd desires
The fervid wishes, holy fires,
Which thus a melted heart refine,
Such are his and such be mine.
From hence, despising all besides
That earth reveals or ocean hides,
All that men in either prize,
On God alone he sets his eyes.
From hence his hope is on the wings,
His health renews, his safety springs,
His glory blazes up below,
And all the streams of comfort flow.

He calls his Saviour, King above,
Lord of mercy, Lord of love,
And finds a kingly care defend,
And mercy smile, and love descend,
To chear, to guide him in the ways
Of this vain world's deceitful maze:
And tho' the wicked earth display
Its terrors in their fierce array,
Or gape so wide that horrour shews
Its hell replete with endless woes;
Such succour keeps him clear of Ill
Still firm to good and dauntless still.
So fix'd, by Providence's hands
A rock amidst an ocean stands;
So bears without a trembling dread
The tempest beating round its head,
And with its side repels the wave
Whose hollow seems a coming grave;
The skies the deeps are heard to roar
The rock stands settled as before.

I, all with whom he has to do,
Admire the life which blesses you,
That feeds a foe, that aids a friend,
Without a bye designing end;
Its knowing real int'rest lies
On the bright side of yonder skies,
Where having made a title fair
It mounts and leaves the world to care.
While he that seeks for pleasing days
In earthly joys and evil ways,
Is but the fool of toil or fame,
(Tho' happy be the specious name)
And made by wealth, which makes him great,
A more conspicuous wretch of state.

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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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    "The Happy Man" Poetry.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2021. Web. 25 Oct. 2021. <https://www.poetry.com/poem/37078/the-happy-man>.

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