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To A Young Lady, On Her Translation Of The Story Of Phoebus And Daphne, From Ovid

Thomas Parnell 1679 (Dublin) – 1718



In Phœbus Wit (as Ovid said)
Enchanting Beauty woo'd;
In Daphne Beauty coily fled,
While vainly Wit pursu'd.
But when you trace what Ovid writ,
A diff'rent Turn we view;
Beauty no longer flies from Wit,
Since both are joyn'd in You.
Your Lines the wondrous Change impart,
From whence our Lawrels spring;
In Numbers fram'd to please the Heart,
And merit what they Sing.
Methinks thy Poet's gentle Shade
Its Wreath presents to Thee;
What Daphne owes you as a Maid,
She pays you as a Tree.

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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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    "To A Young Lady, On Her Translation Of The Story Of Phoebus And Daphne, From Ovid" Poetry.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2022. Web. 16 Aug. 2022. <https://www.poetry.com/poem/37091/to-a-young-lady%2C-on-her-translation-of-the-story-of-phoebus-and-daphne%2C-from-ovid>.

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