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EPISTLE V.

TO

ROBERT, EARL OF OXFORD,

AND

EARL MORTIMER:

SUCH were the notes thy once-loved Poet sung,
Till Death untimely stopped his tuneful tongue.

1 Robert, Earl of Oxford and Earl prosecute him, he was released. After of Mortimer, son of Sir Edward Har. this he lived in retirement till his ley, born 1661. He was three times death, 21st May, 1724. Speaker of the House of Commons,

2 Such were the last, the sweetest notes and in 1704 was made Secretary of that hung State, through the influence of Mrs. Upon our dying swan's melodious tongue. Masham. In 1708, in consequence

J. Talbot on the death of Waller.-WAKE

FIELD. of the intrigues of the Whigs he resigned his office, but in 1710, on the This Epistle was sent to the Earl of dismissal of Godolphin, he returned Oxford with Dr. Parnell's Poems, to power as Chancellor of the Ex. published by our author, after the chequer. In 1711 his popularity was said Earl's imprisonment in the much increased by Guiscard's attempt Tower, and retreat into the country on his life, and in the same year he in the year 1721.–POPE. was made Lord High Treasurer, and The poems were published under the was raised to the peerage. In 1714, following title : “Poems on several having lost the favour of Lady occasions. Written by Dr. Thomas Masham, he received his dismissal, Parnell, late Archdeacon of Clogher, and after the death of the Queen was and published by Mr. Pope. Pope committed to the Tower, where he received from Lintot (13th Decr. remained for two years. In 1717, on 1721) fifteen pounds for Parnell's his own petition, he was brought for Poems. At the end of his notes on trial before the House of Lords, but the Iliad, Pope informs us that the House of Commons declining to Parnell left to his charge the publica

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Oh just beheld and lost ! admired and mourned !'
With softest manners, gentlest arts adorned !
Blest in each science, blest in every strain !
Dear to the Muse! to Harley dear-in vain!'

For him thou oft hast bid the world attend,
Fond to forget the statesman in the friend;
For Swift and him despised the farce of state,
The sober follies of the wise and great ;
Dexterous the craving, fawning crowd to quit,
And pleased to 'scape from Flattery to Wit.

Absent or dead, still let a friend be dear,
(A sigh the absent claims, the dead a tear;)
Recall those nights that closed thy toilsome days;
Still hear thy Parnell in his living lays,
Who, careless now of interest, fame, or fate,
Perhaps forgets that Oxford e'er was great ;
Or, deeming meanest what we greatest call,
Beholds thee glorious only in thy fall.

And sure, if aught below the seats divine
Can touch Immortals, 'tis a Soul like thine;
A soul supreme, in each hard interest tried,
Above all Pain, all Passion, and all Pride,

of

power, the blast of public breath, The lust of lucre, and the dread of Death.'

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The rage

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tion of his poems, almost with his the diocese of Dublin, worth £400 dying breath.”—P. CUNNINGHAM, a-year. He is reported to have been Note to Johnson's Life of Parnell. intemperate in his habits during his

· From Virgil, Æneid, 1. vi. 870 : last years, but it is said that this Ostendent terris hunc tantum fata, neque

failing was caused by the loss of his ultra

wife, to whom he was fondly attached. Esse sinent.

Among the poems in the collection 3 Thomas Parnell, born in Dublin published by Pope were the Rise of in 1679, died at Chester, 1718 (John- Woman, the Fairy Tale, the Pervirson says erroneously, 1717). After the gilium Veneris, and the Hermit. fate of the Whig Ministry at the end * They were quite mistaken in of Queen Anne's reign he joined the his (Lord Oxford's] temper, who Tories, and through the influence of thought of getting rid of him, by adSwift he was presented by Archbishop vising him to make his escape from King with the vicarage of Finglass, in the Tower. He would have sat out

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In vain to Deserts thy retreat is made;
The Muse attends thee to thy silent shade :
'Tis hers the brave man's latest steps to trace,
Rejudge his acts, and dignify disgrace.
When Interest calls off all her sneaking train,
And all the obliged desert, and all the vain ;
She waits, or to the scaffold, or the cell,
When the last lingering friend has bid farewell.
Ev'n now she shades thy evening walk with bays
(No hireling she, no prostitute to praise);
Ev'n now, observant of the parting ray,
Eyes the calm sunset of thy various day;
Through Fortune's cloud one truly great can see,
Nor fears to tell that Mortimer is he.

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