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221

THOMAS PARNELL.

an estate.

THOMAS Parsell, an agreeable poet, was de- don pulpits, with the intention of rising to notice; but scended from an ancient family in Cheshire. His the change of the ministry at Queen Anne's death father, who was attached to the cause of the Par- put an end to his more brilliant prospects in the liament in the civil wars of Charles I., withdrew to church. By means, however, of Swift's recomIreland after the Restoration, where he purchased mendation to Archbishop King, he obtained a pre

His eldest son, Thomas, was born at bend, and the valuable living of Finglass. Dublin, in 1679, and received his school edu His domestic happiness received a severe shock cation in that city. At an early age he was re- in 1712, by the death of his beloved wife; and it moved to the college, where he was admitted to was the effect on his spirits of this affliction which the degree of M. A. in 1700, took deacon's orders led him into such a habit of intemperance in wine in the same year, and was ordained priest three as shortened his days. This, at least, is the gloss years afterwards. In 1705 he was presented to the put upon the circumstance by his historian, Goldarchdeaconry of Clogher, and about the same time smith, who represents him, “as in some measure a married a lady of great beauty and merit. He martyr to conjugal fidelity.” But it can scarcely now began to inake those frequent excursions to be doubted, that this mode of life had already been England, in which the most desirable part of his formed when his very unequal spirits had required life was thenceforth spent. His first connections the aid of a glass for his support. He died at were principally with the Whigs, at that time in Chester, on his way to Ireland, in July 1717, in power; and Addison, Congreve, and Steele are the thirty-eighth year of his age, and was buried in named among his chief companions. When, at the Trinity Church, in that city. latter part of Queen Anne's reign, the Tories were Parnell was the author of several pieces, both in triumphant, Parnell deserted his former friends, prose and verse; but it is only by the latter that he and associated with Swift, Pope, Gay, and Ar- is now known. Of these a collection was published buthnot. Swift introduced him to Lord - Treasurer by Pope, with a dedication to the Earl of Oxford. Harley; and, with the dictatorial air which he was Their characters are ease, sprightliness, fancy, fond of assuming, insisted upon the Treasurer's clearness of language, and melody of versification ; going with his staff in his hand into the anti- and though not ranking among the most finished chamber, where Parnell was waiting to welcome productions of the British muse, they claim a place hum. It is said of this poet, that every year, as soon among the most pleasing. A large addition to as he had collected the rents of his estate, and the these was made in a work printed in Dublin, in revenue of his benefices, he came over to England, 1758, of which Dr. Johnson says, “ I know not and spent some months, living in an elegant style, whence they came, nor have ever enquired whither and rather impairing than improving his fortune. they are going.” At this time he was an assiduous preacher in the Lon

FAIRY TALE,

His mountain back mote well be said,
To measure height against his head,

And lift itself above :
Yet, spite of all that Nature did
To make his uncouth form forbid,

This creature dar'd to love.

IN THE ANCIENT ENGLISH STYLE.

I x Britain's isle, and Arthur's days,
When midnight fairies danc'd the maze,

Liv'd Edwin of the Green ;
Edwin, I wis, a gentle youth,
Endow'd with courage, sense, and truth,

Though badly shap'd he'd been.

He felt the charms of Edith's eyes,
Nor wanted hope to gain the prize,

Could ladies look within ;
But one sir Topaz dress'd with art,
And, if a shape could win a heart,

He had a shape to win.

[graphic]

Edwin, if right I read my song, With slighted passion pac'd along

All in the moony light; 'I'was near an old enchanted court, Where sportive fairies made resort

To revel out the night.

The dauncing past, the board was laid,
And siker such a feast was made,

As heart and lip desire,
Withouten hands the dishes fly,
The glasses with a wish come nigh,

And with a wish retire.

His heart was drear, his hope was cross'd, 'Twas late, 'twas far, the path was lost

That reach'd the neighbour-town; With weary steps he quits the shades, Resolv'd, the darkling dome he treads,

And drops his limbs adown.

But scant he lays him on the floor, When hollow winds remove the door,

And trembling rocks the ground : And, well I ween to count aright, At once a hundred tapers light

On all the walls around.

Now sounding tongues assail his ear, Now sounding feet approached near,

And now the sounds increase : And from the corner where he lay He sees a train profusely gay,

Come prankling o'er the placc. But (trust me, gentles !) never yet Was dight a masquing half so neat,

Or half so rich before ; The country lent the sweet perfumes, The sea the pearl, the sky the plumes,

The town its silken store.

But, now to please the fairy king,
Full every deal they laugh and sing,

And antic feats devise;
Some wind and tumble like an ape,
And other some transmute their shape

In Edwin's wondering eyes.
Till onc at last, that Robin hight,
Renown'd for pinching maids by night,

Has bent him up aloof :
And full against the beam he flung,
Where by the back the youth he hung

To spraul unneath the roof. From thence, “ Reverse my charm," he cries, “ And let it fairly now suffice

The gambol has been shown."
But Oberon answers with a smile,
“ Content thee, Edwin, for a while,

The vantage is thine own."
Here ended all the phantom-play;
They smelt the fresh approach of day,

And heard a cock to crow;
The whirling wind that bore the crowd
Has clapp'd the door, and whistled loud,

To warn them all to go.
Then screaming all at once they fly,
And all at once the tapers dye;

Poor Edwin falls to floor;
Forlorn his state, and dark the place,
Was never wight in such a case

Through all the land before.

Now whilst he gaz'd, a gallant drest
In flaunting robes above the rest,

With awful accent cry'd;
What mortal of a wretched mind,
Whose sighs infect the balmy wind,

Has here presum'd to hide ? At this the swain, whose venturous soul No fears of magic art control,

Advanc'd in open sight; “ Nor have I cause of dreed,” he said, “ Who view, by no presumption led,

Your revels of the night.

But soon as Dan Apollo rose,
Full jolly creature home he goes,

He feels his back the less;
His honest tongue and steady mind
Had rid him of the lump behind,

Which made him want success.

“ 'Twas grief, for scorn of faithful love, Which made my steps unweeting rove

Amid the nightly dew.” “ 'Tis well,” the gallant cries again, " We fairies never injure men

Who dare to tell us true.

With lusty livelyhed he talks,
He seems a dauncing as he walks,

His story soon took wind;
And beauteous Edith sees the youth
Endow'd with courage, sense, and truth,

Without a bunch behind.

“ Exalt thy love-dejected heart, Be mine the task, or ere we part,

To make thee grief resign ; Now take the pleasure of thy chaunce ; Whilst I with Mab, my partner, daunce,

Be little Mable thine."

The story told, sir Topaz mov'd,
The youth of Edith erst approv'd,

To see the revel scene :
At close of eve he leaves his home,
And wends to find the ruin'd dome

All on the gloomy plain. As there he bides, it so befell, The wind came rustling down a dell,

A shaking seiz'd the wall ; Up spring the tapers as before, The fairies bragly foot the floor,

And music fills the hall.

He spoke, and all a sudden there Light music foats in wanton air ;

The monarch leads the queen : The rest their fairy partners found : And Mable trimly tript the ground

With Edwin of the Green.

But certes sorely sunk with woe

HA NIGHT-PIECE ON DEATH. Sir Topaz sees the elphin show, His spirits in him dye :

By the blue taper's trembling light, When Oberon cries, “ A man is near,

No more I waste the wakeful night, A mortal passion, cleeped fear,

Intent with endless view to pore Hangs flagging in the sky."

The schoolmen and the sages o'er :

Their books from wisdom widely stray, With that sir Topaz, hapless youth !

Or point at best the longest way In accents faultering, ay for ruth,

I'll seek a readier path, and go Entreats them pity graunt;

Where wisdom 's surely taught below. For als he been a mister wight

How deep yon azure dyes the sky! Betray'd by wandering in the night

Where orbs of gold unnumber'd lie, To tread the circled haunt;

While through their ranks in silver pride

The nether crescent seems to glide. “ Ah, losel vile," at once they roar :

The slumbering breeze forgets to breathe, « And little skill'd of fairie lore,

The lake is smooth and clear beneath, Thy cause to come, we know :

Where once again the spangled show Now has thy kestrel courage fell ;

Descends to meet our eyes below. And fairies, since a lye you tell,

The grounds, which on the right aspire, Are free to work thee woc."

In dimness from the view retire :

The left presents a place of graves, Then Will, who bears the whispy fire

Whose wall the silent water laves. To trail the swains among the mire,

That steeple guides thy doubtful sight The caitiff upward flung;

Among the livid gleams of night. There, like a tortoise, in a shop

There pass with melancholy state He dangled from the chamber-top,

By all the solemn heaps of Fate, Where whilome Edwin hung.

And think, as softly-sad you tread

Above the venerable dead, The revel now proceeds apace,

Time was, like thee, they life possest,
Deftly they frisk it o'er the place,

And time shall be, that thou shalt rest.
They sit, they drink, and eat;

Those with bending osier bound,
The time with frolic mirth beguile,

That nameless heave the crumbled ground, And poor sir Topaz hangs the while

Quick to the glancing thought disclose, Till all the rout retreat.

Where toil and poverty repose.

The flat smooth stones that bear a name, By this the stars began to wink,

The chisel's slender help to fame, They shriek, they fly, the tapers sink,

(Which ere our set of friends decay And down y-drops the knight :

Their frequent steps may wear away) For never spell by fairie laid

A middle race of mortals own, With strong enchantment bound a glade, Men, half ambitious, all unknown. Beyond the length of night.

The marble tombs that rise on high,

Whose dead in vaulted arches lie, Chill, dark, alone, adreed, he lay,

Whose pillars swell with sculptur'd stones, Till up the welkin rose the day,

Arms, angels, epitaphs, and bones, Then deem'd the dole was o'er ;

These, all the poor remains of state, But wot ye well his harder lot ?

Adorn the rich, or praise the great ; His seely back the bunch had got

Who, while on Earth in fame they live, Which Edwin lost afore.

Are senseless of the fame they give.

Ha! while I gaze, pale Cynthia fades, This tale a Sybil-nurse ared;

The bursting earth unveils the shades! She softly stroak'd my youngling head,

All slow, and wan,

and wrap'd with shrouds, And when the tale was done,

They rise in visionary crowds, “ Thus some are born, my son,” she cries, And all with sober accent cry, “ With base impediments to rise,

Think, mortal, what it is to die." And some are born with none.

Now from yon black and funeral yew,

That bathes the charnel-house with dew, “ But virtue can itself advance

Methinks, I hear a voice begin ; To what the favourite fools of chance

(Ye ravens, cease your croaking din, By fortune seem design'd;

Ye tolling clocks, no time resound Virtue can gain the odds of Fate,

O'er the long lake and midnight ground!) And from itself shake off the weight

It sends a peal of hollow groans, Upon th' unworthy mind."

Thus speaking from among the bones.

“ When men my scythe and darts supply,
How great a king of fears am I!
They view me like the last of things ;
They make, and then they draw, my strings.
Fools! if you less provok'd your fears,
No more my spectre-form appears.
Death's but a path that must be trud,
If man would ever pass to God :

A port of calms, a state to ease

Now sunk the Sun; the closing hour of day From the rough rage of swelling seas."

Came onward, mantled o'er with sober grey; Why then thy flowing sable stoles,

Nature in silence bid the world repose; Deep pendant cypress, mourning poles,

When near the road a stately palace rose : Loose scarfs to fall athwart thy weeds,

There by the Moon through ranks of trees they pass, Long palls, drawn hearses, cover'd steeds, Whose verdure crown’d their sloping sides of grass And plumes of black, that, as they tread, It chanc'd the noble master of the dome Nod o'er the escutcheons of the dead ?

Still made his house the wandering stranger's homme : Nor can the parted body know,

Yet still the kindness, from a thirst of praise, Nor wants the soul these forms of woe;

Prov'd the vain flourish of expensive ease. As men who long in prison dwell,

The pair arrive: the livery'd servants wait; With lamps that glimmer round the cell,

Their lord receives them at the pompous gate. Whene'er their suffering years are run,

The table groans with costly piles of food, Spring forth to greet the glittering Sun : And all is more tharr hospitably good. Such joy, though far transcending sense, Then led to rest, the day's long toil they drown, Have pious souls at parting hence.

Deep sunk in sleep, and silk, and heaps of down On Earth, and in the body plac'd,

At length 'tis morn, and at the dawn of day, A few, and evil years, they waste :

Along the wide canals the zephyrs play: But when their chains are cast aside,

Fresh o'er the gay parterres the breezes creep, See the glad scene unfolding wide,

And shake the neighbouring wood to banish sleep. Clap the glad wing, and tower away,

Up rise the guests, obedient to the call :
And mingle with the blaze of day.

An early banquet deck'd the splendid hall;
Rich luscious wine a golden goblet gracid,
Which the kind master forc'd the guests to taste.
Then, pleas'd' and thankful, from the porch they ge;

And, but the landlord, none had cause of woe:
THE HERMIT.

His cup was vanish'd; for in secret guise

The younger guest purloin'd the glittering prize. Far in a wild, unknown to public view,

As one who spies a serpent in his way, From youth to age a reverend hermit grew; Glistening and basking in the summer ray, The moss his bed, the cave his homble cell, Disorder'd stops to shun the danger near, His food the fruits, his drink the crystal well : Then walks with faintness on, and looks with fear; Remote from men, with God he pass'd the days, So seem'd the sire ; when far upon the road, Prayer all his business, all his pleasure praise. The shining spoil his wily partner show'd. A life so sacred, such serene repose,

He stopp'd with silence, walk'd with trembling heart, Seem'd Heaven itself, till one suggestion rose;

And much he wish'd, but durst not ask to part: That Vice should triumph, Virtue, Vice obey, Murmuring he lifts his eyes, and thinks it hard, This sprung some doubt of Providence's sway: That generous actions meet a base reward. His hopes no more a certain prospect boast,

While thus they pass, the Sun his glory shrouds, "And all the tenour of his soul is lost :

The changing skies hang out their sable clouds; So when a smooth expanse receives imprest A sound in air presag'd

approaching rain, Calm Nature's image on its watery breast,

And beasts to covert scud across the plain. Down bend the banks, the trees depending grow,

Warn’d by the signs, the wandering pair retreat, And skies beneath with answering colours glow : To seek for shelter at a neighbouring seat. But if a stone the gentle sea divide,

'Twas built with turrets on a rising ground, Swift ruffling circles curl on every side,

And strong, and large, and unimprov'd around; And glimmering fragments of a broken Sun, Its owner's temper, timorous and severe, Banks, trees, and skies, in thick disorder run Unkind and griping, caus'd a desert there.

To clear this doubt, to know the world by sight, As near the miser's heavy doors they drew, To find if books, or swains, report it right, Fierce rising gusts with sudden fury blew; (For yet by swains alone the world he knew, The nimble lightning mix'd with showers began, Whose feet came wandering o'er the nightly dew) And o'er their heads loud rolling thunders ran. He quits his cell; the pilgrim-staff he bore, Here long they knock, but knock or call in rain, And fix'd the scallop in his hat before ;

Driven by the wind, and batter'd by the raine Then with the Sun a rising journey went,

At length some pity warm’d the master's breast, Sedate to think, and watching each event.

('Twas then his threshold first receiv'd a guest); The morn was wasted in the pathless grass, Slow creeking turns the door with jealous care, And long and lonesome was the wild to pass ; And half he welcomes in the shivering pair; But when the southern Sun had warm'd the day, One frugal fagot lights the naked walls, A youth came posting o'er a crossing way ; And Nature's fervour through their limbs recalls: His raiment decent, his complexion fair,

Bread of the coarsest sort, with eager wine, And soft in graceful ringlets wav'd his hair. (Each hardly granted) serv'd them both to dine ; Then near approaching, “ Father, hail!” he cry'd, And when the tempest first appear'd to cease, “ And hail, my son," the reverend sire reply'd; A ready warning bid them part in peace. Words follow'd words, from question answer flow'd, With still remark the pondering hermit view'd, And talk of various kind deceiv'd the road; In one so rich, a life so poor and rude ; Till each with other pleas'd, and loth to part,

« And why should such” within himself he cry'd, While in their age they differ, join in heart.

“ Lock the lost wealth a thousand want beside ?" Thus stands an aged elm in ivy bound,

But what new marks of wonder soon take place, Thus youthful ivy clasps an elın around.

In every settling feature of his face;

When from his vest the young companion bore Though loud at first the pilgrim's passion grew,
That cup, the generous landlord own'd before, Sudden he gaz'd, and wist not what to do ;
And paid profusely with the precious bowl Surprise in secret chains his words suspends,
The stinted kindness of this churlish soul.

And in a calm his settling temper ends.
But now the clouds in airy tumult fly;

But silence here the beauteous angel broke The Sun emerging opes an azure sky;

(The voice of music ravish'd as he spoke). A fresher green the smelling leaves display,

“ Thy prayer, thy praise, thy life to vice unknown, And, glittering as they tremble, cheer the day: In sweet memorial rise before the throne : The weather courts them from the poor retreat, These charms, success in our bright region find, And the glad master bolts the wary gate.

And force an angel down, to calm thy mind; While hence they walk, the pilgrim's bosom For this, commission'd, I forsook the sky, wrought

Nay, cease to kneel - thy fellow-servant I. With all the travel of uncertain thought;

• Then know the truth of government divine, His partner's acts without their cause appear, And let these scruples be no longer thine. 'Twas there a vice, and seem'd a madness here: “ The Maker justly claims that world he made, Detesting that, and pitying this, he goes,

In this the right of Providence is laid ; Lost and confounded with the various shows. Its sacred majesty through all depends

Now Night's dim shades again involve the sky, On using second means to work his ends : Again the wanderers want a place to lie,

'Tis thus, withdrawn in state from human eye, Again they search, and find a lodging nigh, The power exerts his attributes on high, The soil improv'd around, the mansion neat, Your actions uses, nor controls your will, And neither poorly low, nor idly great:

And bids the doubting sons of mon be still. It seem'd to speak its master's turn of mind,

“ What strange events can strike with more surContent, and not to praise, but virtúe kind.

prise, Hither the walkers turn with weary feet,

Than those which lately struck thy wondering eyes? Then bless the mansion, and the master greet : Yet, taught by these, confess th' Almighty just, Their greeting Fair, bestow'd with inodest guise, And where you can't unriddle, learn to trust! The courteous master hears, and thus replies : “ The great, vain man, who far'd on costly food,

“ Without a vain, without a grudging heart, Whose life was too luxurious to be good ; To him who gives us all, I yield a part;

Who made his ivoty stands with goblets shine, From him you come, for him accept it here, And forc'd his guests to morning draughts of wine, A frank and sober, more than costly cheer.' Has, with the cup, the graceless custom lost, He spoke, and bid the welcome table spread, And still he welcomes, but with less of cost. Then talk of virtue till the time of bed,

The mean, suspicious wretch, whose bolted door When the grave household round his hall repair, Ne'er mov'd in duty to the wandering poor; Warn’d by a bell, and close the hours with prayer. With him I left the cup, to teach his mind

At length the world, renew'd by calm repose, That Heaven can bless, if mortals will be kind.
Was strong for toil, the dappled Morn arose ; Conscious of wanting worth, he views the bowl,
Before the pilgrims part, the younger crept, And feels compassion touch us grateful soul.
Near the clos'd cradle where an infant slept, Thus artists melt the sullen ore of lead,
And writh'd his neck : the landlord's little pride, With heaping coals of fire upon its head;
O strange return! grew black, and gasp'd, and dy'd. In the kind warmth the metal learns to glow,
Horrour of horrours! what! his only son! And loose from dross the silver runs below.
How look'd our hermit when the fact was done; “ Long had our pious friend in virtue trod,
Not Hell, though Hell's black jaws in sunder part, But now the child half-wean'd his heart from God;
And breathe blue fire, could more assault his heart. (Child of his age) for him he liv'd in pain,

Confus'd, and struck with silence at the deed, And measur'd back his steps to Earth again.
He flies, but trembling, fails to fly with speed. To what excesses had his dotage run?
His steps the youth pursues; the country lay But God, to save the father, took the son.
Perplex'd with roads, a servant show'd the way: To all but thee, in fits he seem'd to go,
A river cross'd the path ; the passage o'er

(And 'twas my ministry to deal the blow,) Was nice to find; the servant trod before ;

The poor fond parent, humbled in the dust, Long arms of oaks an open bridge supply'd, Now owns in tears the punishment was just. And

deep the waves beneath the bending glide. “ But now had all his fortune felt a wrack, The youth, who seem'd to watch a time to sin, Had that false servant sped in safety back ; Approached the careless guide, and thrust him in ; This night his treasurld heaps he meant to steal, Plunging he falls, and rising lifts his head,

And what a fund of charity would fail ! Then Aashing turns, and sinks among the dead. Thus Heaten instructs thy mind : this trial o'er,

Wild, sparkling rage inflames the father's eyes, Depart in peace, resign, and sin no more. He bursts the bands of fear, and madly cries,

On sounding pinions here the youth withdrew, " Detested wretch!”. But scarce his speech began, The sage stood wondering as the seraph flew. When the strange partner seem'd no longer man : Thus look'd Elisha when, to mount on high, His youthful face grew more serenely sweet; His master took the chariot of the sky; His robe turn'd white, and flow'd upon his feet; The fiery pomp ascending left to view; Fair rounds of radiant points invest his hair ; The prophet gaz'd, and wish'd to follow too. Celestial odours breathe through purpled air ; The bending hermit here a prayer begun, And wings, whose colours glitter'd on the day, “Lord ! as in Heaven, on Earth thy will be done :" Wide at his back their gradual plumes display. Then gladly turning sought his ancient place, The form etherial burst upon his sight,

And pass'd a life of piety and peace. And moves in all the majesty of light.

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