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The Judgment Of Paris



Where waving Pines the brows of Ida shade,
The swain young Paris half supinely laid,
Saw the loose Flocks thro' shrubs unnumber'd rove
And Piping call'd them to the gladded grove.
'Twas there he met the Message of the skies,
That he the Judge of Beauty deal the prize.

The Message known, one Love with anxious mind,
To make his Mother guard the time assign'd,
Drew forth her proud white Swans, and trac'd the pair
That wheel her Chariot in the purple air:
A golden Bow behind his shoulder bends,
A golden Quiver at his side depends,
Pointing to these he nods, with fearless State,
And bids her safely meet the grand Debate.
Another Love proceeds with anxious care
To make his Iv'ry sleek the shining hair,
Moves the loose Curls and bids the Forehead shew
In full Expansion all its native snow.
A third enclasps the many colour'd Cest
And rul'd by Fancy sets the silver Vest,
When to her Sons with intermingl'd sighs
The Goddess of the rosy lips applies.

'Tis now my darling boys a time to shew
The love you feel, the filial aids you owe:
Yet would we think that any dar'd to strive
For Charms, when Venus and her Loves alive?
Or should the prize of beauty be deni'd,
Has Beauty's Empress ought to boast beside?
And ting'd with Poison, pleasing while it harms,
My Darts I trusted to your infant arms;
If, when your hands have arch'd the golden Bow,
The World's great Ruler bending owns the blow,
Let no contending Form invade my due,
Tall Juno's Mein, nor Pallas Eyes of blew.
But grac'd with Triumph, to the Paphian shore,
Your Venus bears the Palms of Conquest o'er,
And joyful see my hundred Altars there
With costly Gums perfume the wanton air.

While thus the Cupids hear the Cyprian Dame,
The groves resounded where a Goddess came.
The warlike Pallas march'd with mighty stride,
Her Shield forgot, her Helmet laid aside.
Her Hair unbound, in curls and order flow'd,
And Peace, or something like, her Visage shew'd;
So with her eyes serene and hopeful haste,
The long stretch'd Allys of the Wood she trac'd.
But where the Woods a second Entrance found,
With Scepter'd Pomp, and Golden Glory crown'd
The stately Juno stalk'd, to reach the Seat,
And hear the Sentence in the last Debate,
And long, severely long resent the Grove;
In this, what boots it, she's the wife of Jove.

Arm'd with a Grace, at length, secure to win,
The lovely Venus smiling enters in;
All sweet and shining near the Youth she drew,
Her rosy Neck ambrosial odours threw;
The sacred Scents diffus'd among the leaves,
Ran down the Woods and fill'd their hoary Caves;
The Charms, so am'rous all, and each so great,
The conquer'd Judge no longer keeps his Seat;
Oppress'd with Light, he drops his weary'd eyes
And fears he should be thought to doubt the Prize.

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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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