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Those alluring powers, and more,
Shall enamoured youths adore,
These and more, in courtly lays,
Many an aching heart shall praise.


Timely blossom, infant fair,
Fondling of a happy pair,
Every morn and every night
Their solicitous delight,
Sleeping, waking, still at ease,
Pleasing, without skill to please;
Little gossip, blithe and hale,
Tattling many a broken tale,
Singing many a tuneless song,
Lavish of a heedless tongue.
Simple maiden, void of art,
Babbling out the very heart,
Yet abandoned to thy will,
Yet imagining no ill,
Yet too innocent to blush,
Like the linnet in the bush,
To the mother-linnet's note
Moduling her slender throat,
Chirping forth thy pretty joys,
Wanton in the change of toys,
Like the linnet green, in May,
Flitting to each bloomy spray.
Wearied then, and glad of rest,
Like the linnet in the nest.
This thy present happy lot,
This, in time, will be forgot;
Other pleasures, other cares,
Ever-busy Time prepares;
And thou shalt in thy daughter see
This picture once resembled thee.


[THOMAS PARNELL was born in Dublin in 1679, and was buried at Chester on the 18th of October, 1718. His Poems were first collected after his death, by Pope.]

In contemplating the Lampadephoria of poetical history we sometimes meet with a figure whose torch was well charged with the resin of genius and ready to be enflamed, but whom accidental circumstances removed from the line of light so long and so far that its destiny was never properly fulfilled. Such a figure is Parnell, who, having spent his youth as a thoroughly insignificant amateur in verse, was roused during the last five years of his life, under the influence of Pope, a much younger man than he, to strike a few magnificent chords on the lyre of a true poet. The last three pieces in the posthumous edition of Parnell's poems show us what he might have been, had he lived in London instead of Ireland, had he been born in 1699 instead of 1679, and had he understood at once the imperative bent of his genius. But this sententious and sonorous writer, whose verse in its deeper harmonies surpasses even Pope's in melody, fancied himself a satirist, a society-singer, and emulated in his false ambition the successes of Oldham and Prior. But while he was vainly attempting tc subdue for himself a province in Acrostic-land, there lay unvisited a romantic island of poesy, which was his by birthright, and it was Pope who opened his eyes to this fact. We know little of Parnell's life, but we may be sure, from internal evidence, that his last three poems were composed during the five years between the publication of Windsor Forest and his own death. Yet, though Pope awakened his genius within him, Parnell was not the disciple of Pope; within the narrow range of what he did well, there was no writer of his time who showed a greater originality.

The Hermit may be considered as forming the apex and chef d'œuvre of Augustan poetry in England. It is more exactly in the French taste than any work that preceded it, and after it English poetry swiftly passed into the degeneracy of classicism. Parnell's poem is the model of a moral conte; the movement is dignified and rapid, the action and reflection are balanced with exquisite skill, the surprise is admirably prepared, and the treatment never flags from beginning to end. The French complaint of the lack of style in our minor poetry might have been triumphantly confronted by the Dennises and Budgells of the infancy of our criticism, by a reference to Parnell's masterpiece, which, if we are ready to grant that polish, elegance and symmetry are the main elements of poetry, could scarcely be surpassed in any language. But more of real inspiration attended the composition of his two remarkable odes, the Night-Piece and the Hymn to Contentment. In these he originated two distinct streams of poetical influence, for the former was no less certainly the precursor of the curious funereal school of Young, Blair and Porteus, than the latter was of Collins' exquisite strain of lyrical writing. In both he shows himself the disciple of Milton, and wields the ringing octosyllabic measure as no one had done since Il Penseroso was published. The lines with which we open our selection from the Hymn to Contentment reach a higher range of melody, and strike a more subtle chord of fancy than perhaps any other verses of that age. Yet Parnell has been neglected from his own generation to ours, and it is doubtful whether his moral abstractions can ever hope to regain the popular ear.

EDMUND W. Gosse.


By the blue taper's trembling light,
No more I waste the wakeful night,
Intent with endless view to pore
The schoolmen and the sages o'er:
Their books from wisdom widely stray,
Or point at best the longest way.
I'll seek a readier path, and go
Where wisdom's surely taught below.

How deep yon azure dyes the sky,
Where orbs of gold unnumber'd lie,
While through their ranks in silver pride
The nether crescent seems to glide!
The slumbering breeze forgets to breathe,
The lake is smooth and clear beneath,
Where once again the spangled show
Descends to meet our eyes below.
The grounds which on the right aspire,
In dimness from the view retire:
The left presents a place of graves,
Whose wall the silent water laves.
That steeple guides thy doubtful sight
Among the livid gleams of night.
There pass, with melancholy state,
By all the solemn heaps of fate,
And think, as softly-sad you tread
Above the venerable dead,
'Time was, like thee they life possest,
And time shall be, that thou shalt rest.'

Those graves, with bending osier bound, That nameless heave the crumbled ground, Quick to the glancing thought disclose, Wi.cre toil and poverty repose.

The flat smooth stones that bear a name,
The chisel's slender help to fame,
(Which ere our set of friends decay
Their frequent steps may wear away,)
A middle race of mortals own,
Men, half ambitious, all unknown.

The marble tombs that rise on high,
Whose dead in vaulted arches lie,
Whose pillars swell with sculptur'd stones,
Arms, angels, epitaphs, and bones,
These, all the poor remains of state,
Adorn the rich, or praise the great;
Who while on earth in fame they live,
Are senseless of the fame they give.


Ha! while I gaze, pale Cynthia fades,
The bursting earth unveils the shades!
All slow, and wan, and wrapp'd with shrouds,

They rise in visionary crowds,

And all with sober accent cry,
'Think, mortal, what it is to die.'


The silent heart, which grief assails,
Treads soft and lonesome o'er the vales,
Sees daisies open, rivers run,

And seeks, as I have vainly done,
Amusing thought; but learns to know
That solitude's the nurse of woe.
No real happiness is found

In trailing purple o'er the ground;
Or in a soul exalted high,

To range the circuit of the sky,
Converse with stars above, and know
All nature in its forms below;

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