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E PITA PH
THOMAS PAR N E L L.1
This tomb, inscrib'd to gentle Parnell's name, May speak our gratitude, but not his fame. What heart but feels his sweetly moral lay, That leads to truth through pleasure's flowery way ! Celestial themes confess'd his tuneful aid; And Heaven, that lent him genius, was repaid.
Needless to him the tribute we bestow—
The transitory breath of fame below;
While converts thank their poet in the skies.
From The haunch of Venison, etc., 1776. The epitaph, as I conjecture, was composed about the year 1770.-Thomas Parnell, s.t.p. etc. – one of the most chaste and delightful poets in the English series. With such qualifications, with the editorial services of Pope, and the biographic tribute of Goldsmith, he may be said to unite the elements of celebrity. He died at Chester, on his way to Ireland, in 1718.
THE HAUNCH OF WENISON:
Thanks, my lord, for your venison, for finer or fatter
Never rang'd in a forest, or smok'd in a platter:
* First published in 1776; but written, it is believed, in 1771. It is now printed from the second edition, also dated in 1776, which is said to be taken from the last transcript of the author. It has ten additional
The haunch was a picture for painters to study —
This tale of the bacon a damnable bounce 1 14
lines, and numerous emendations. – Robert Nugent, of Carlanstown, Westmeath, was elected a member for St., Mawes in 1741; in 1766 was created Viscount Clare; and in 1776, Earl Nugent. He was thrice married; and his surviving daughter became Marchioness of Buckingham. His odes, epistles, epigrams, etc., are much above mediocrity. He died at Dublin, and was buried at Gosfield-hall in Essex, 1788. — Line 18. Mr. Byrne = a son of George B. by Clare, sister of Lord Clare. Line 24. Monroe = Dorothy Monroe, whose various charms are celebrated in verse by Lord Townshend. Line 27. Howard= H. Howard author of The choice spirits' Museum, 1765; Coley= Colman, says Horace Walpole; H–rth = Hogarth a surgeon, of Goldensquare; Hiff= Paul Hiffernan, M.D., author of Dramatic Genius, etc. Line 29. Higgins = Captain Higgins He made a blunder by drawing our poet into a foolish affray. Line 60. And “nobody, etc.” is from one of the letters of the Duke of Cumberland, 1769. Line 77. Snarler, etc.—the assumed names of newspaper scribblers.
Well, suppose it a bounce—sure a poet may try
and your lordship may ask Mr. Byrne. To go on with my tale—as I gaz'd on the haunch, I thought of a friend that was trusty and staunch— So I cut it, and sent it to Reynolds undress'd, To paint it, or eat it, just as he lik'd best. Of the neck and the breast I had next to dispose— 'T was a neck and a breast that might rival Monroe's — But in parting with these I was puzzled again, With the how, and the who, and the where, and the when: There's Howard, and Coley, and H-rth, and Hiff— I think they love venison — I know they love beef; There's my countryman Higgins—oh let him alone For making a blunder, or picking a bone. But hang it—to poets who seldom can eat, Your very good mutton’s a very good treat; Such dainties to them, their health it might hurt, It’s like sending them ruffles when wanting a shirt. While thus I debated, in revery centered,
An acquaintance, a friend as he call'd himself, enter'd : 36
An underbred, fine-spoken fellow was he,
And the porter and eatables follow'd behind. 58