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The Way To Happiness



How long ye miserable blind
Shall idle dreams engage your mind,
How long the passions make their flight
At empty shadows of delight?
No more in paths of error stray,
The Lord thy Jesus is the way,
The spring of happiness, and where
Shou'd men seek happiness but there?
Then run to meet him at your need,
Run with boldness, run with speed,
For he forsook his own abode
To meet thee more than half the road.
He laid aside his radiant crown
And love for mankind brought him down
To thirst and hunger, pain and woe,
To wounds, to death it self below,
And he that suffer'd these alone
For all the World, despises none.
To bid the soul that's sick be clean,
To bring the lost to life again,
To comfort those that grieve for ill,
Is his peculiar goodness still.
And as the thoughts of parents run
Upon a dear and only son,
So kind a love his mercies shew,
So kind and more extreamly so.

Thrice happy men (or find a phrase
That speaks your bliss with greater praise)
Who most obedient to thy call
Leaving pleasures leaving all,
With heart with soul, with strength incline
O sweetest Jesu! to be thine;
Who know thy will, observe thy ways,
And in thy service spend their days:
E'en death that seems to set them free
But brings them closer still to thee.

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Submitted on May 13, 2011

1:12 min read
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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 Way To Happiness" Poetry.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2022. Web. 16 Aug. 2022. <https://www.poetry.com/poem/37087/the-way-to-happiness>.

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