Autor: Thomas Parnell
ISBN-13: 9781785434020
Einband: Ebook
Seiten: 107
Sprache: Englisch
eBook Typ: Adobe Digital Editions
eBook Format: EPUB
Kopierschutz: 2 - DRM Adobe
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The Poetry of Thomas Parnell - Volume III

Portable Poetry
"Death's but a path that must be trod, If man would ever pass to God."

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The Poet Thomas Parnell was born in Ireland on 11th September 1679. He was the descendant of an ancient family, which had been settled for hundreds of years at Congleton in Cheshire. His father, also named Thomas, took the side of the Commonwealth, and at the Restoration went over to Ireland, where he purchased a considerable property. This, along with his estate in Cheshire, devolved to the poet and was to provide an income of rents with which the young Parnell could embrace life. At school he is said to have distinguished himself by the retentiveness of his memory; often performing the task allotted for days in a few hours, and being able to repeat forty lines in any book of poems, after the first reading. He entered Trinity College Dublin at the unusually early age of thirteen and took the degree of M.A. in 1700. The same year (although a dispensation was needed on account of his being under age) he was ordained deacon by the Bishop of Derry. Three years after, he was ordained a priest; and in 1705, he was made Archdeacon of Clogher, by Sir George Ashe, bishop of that see. On receipt of the archdeanery, he married Miss Ann Minchin, described as a young lady of great beauty, and of an amiable character, by whom he had two sons, who tragically, died young, and a daughter, who was to survive both parents. Up to the fall of the Whigs, at the end of Queen Anne's reign, Parnell appears to have been, like his father, a keen supporter. He now switched political allegiance to the Tories and was hailed as a valuable addition to their ranks. Parnell was blessed with great social qualities and soon fell in with the brilliant set of literary figures; Pope, Swift, Gay. He became a member of the Scriblerus Club , an informal gathering of authors, based in London, in the early 18th century. Prominent figures from the Augustan Age of English letters were members; Jonathan Swift, Alexander Pope, John Gay, John Arbuthnot and Henry St. John. Founded in 1714 the club lasted until the death of the founders, finally ending in 1745. At about his time Parnell also wrote in the "Spectator." To Pope, he was of essential service, assisting him in his notes to the "Iliad," being, what Pope was not, a good Greek scholar. He wrote a life of Homer, which was prefixed to the Translation, although stiff in style, and flamboyant in statement. Parnell first visited London in 1706; and from that period till his death, scarcely a year elapsed without his spending some time in the great metropolis. As soon as he had collected his rents, he would travel to London to enjoy himself though he continued to preach and his sermons were popular even if it appears they were more of the 'showman' type. As each London furlough expired, he returned to Ireland, jaded and dispirited, and there took delight in nursing his melancholy; in pining for the amusements of what he had left behind; shunning and sneering at the society around him; and in abusing his native bogs and his fellow-countrymen in verse. In 1712 he lost his wife, with whom he appears to have lived as happily as his morbid temperament and mortified feelings would permit. This blow deepened his melancholy, and drove him, it is said, to excessive drinking. Later that same year and back in London, and once more under the "special patronage" of Dean Swift, and who wished, through his side, to mortify certain persons in Ireland, who did not appreciate, he says, the Archdeacon; and who, we suspect, besides, did not thoroughly appreciate the Dean. Swift, partly in pity for the "poor lad," as he calls him, whom he saw to be in such imminent danger of losing caste and character, and partly in the true patronising spirit, introduced Parnell to Lord Bolingbroke, who received him kindly, entertained him at dinner, and encouraged him in his poetical studies but did little else. The consequences of dissipation began, at this time, too, to appear in Parnell's constitution; and we find Swift saying of him, "His head is out of order, like mine, but more constant, poor boy." It was perhaps to this period that Pope referred, when he told Spence, "Parnell is a great follower of drams, and strangely open and scandalous in his debaucheries." If so, his bad habits seem to have sprung as much from disappointment and discontent as from taste. Yet Swift continued to help his friend, and it was at his instance that, in 1713, Archbishop King presented Parnell with a prebend (a portion of the revenues of a cathedral or collegiate church formerly granted to a canon or member of the chapter as his stipend). In 1714, his hope of London promotion died with Queen Anne; but in 1716, the same generous Archbishop bestowed on him the vicarage of Finglass, in the diocese of Dublin, worth £400 a-year. However Thomas Parnell did not live long enough to enjoy the full benefit. He died at Chester, about to leave for Ireland, on 24 October 1718. As a poet his legacy was not of the first order but his poems were greatly appreciated as were his skills as essayist and translator and obviously as a clergyman his talents seemed to have ensured promotion but quite how observant he was given his excess is difficult to judge. Parnell's poetry is lyrical and often is written in heroic couplets. It was said of his poetry 'it was in keeping with his character, easy and pleasing, enunciating the common places with felicity and grace.' He was also one of the so-called "Graveyard poets": his 'A Night-Piece on Death,' widely considered the first "Graveyard School" poem, which was published posthumously in Poems on Several Occasions, collected and edited by his great friend Alexander Pope.

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Autor: Thomas Parnell
ISBN-13:: 9781785434020
ISBN: 1785434020
Verlag: Copyright Group
Größe: 99 KBytes
eBook Format: EPUB
Kopierschutz: 2 - DRM Adobe
eBook Typ: Adobe Digital Editions
Seiten: 107
Sprache: Englisch
Sonstiges: Ebook



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