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Thomas Parnell (Томас Парнелл)

On the Death of Mr. Viner

Is Viner Dead? and shall each Muse become
Silent as Death, and as his Musick Dumb?
Shall he depart without a poet's Praise,
Who oft to Harmony has tun'd their Lays?
Shall he, who knew the Elegance of Sound,
Find no one voice to sing him to the Ground?
musick and poetry are Sister-Arts,
Shew a like Genius, and consenting Hearts:
My Soul with his is secretly ally'd,
And I am forc'd to speak, since viner dy'd.
Oh that my Muse, as once his Notes, could swell!
That I might all his Praises fully tell;
That I might say with how much skill he play'd,
How nimbly four extended Strings survey'd;
How Bow and Fingers, with a noble Strife,
Did raise the vocal fiddle into Life;
How various Sounds, in various Order rang'd,
By unobserv'd Degrees minutely chang'd;
Thro' a vast Space could in Divisions run,
Be all distinct, yet all agree in One:
And how the fleeter Notes could swiftly pass,
And skip alternately from Place to Place;
The Strings could with a sudden Impulse bound,
Speak every Touch, and tremble into Sound.

The liquid Harmony, a tuneful Tide,
Now seem'd to rage, anon wou'd gently glide;
By Turns would ebb and flow, would rise and fall,
Be loudly daring, or be softly small:
While all was blended in one common Name,
Wave push'd on Wave, and all compos'd a Stream.

The diff'rent tones melodiously combin'd,
Temper'd with Art, in sweet Confusion join'd;
The Soft, the Strong, the Clear, the Shrill, the Deep,
Would sometimes soar aloft, and sometimes creep;
While ev'ry Soul upon his Motions hung,
As tho' it were in tuneful Concert strung.
His Touch did strike the Fibres of the Heart,
And a like Trembling secretly impart;
Where various Passions did by Turns succeed,
He made it chearful, and he made it bleed;
Could wind it up into a glowing Fire,
Then shift the Scene, and teach it to expire.

Oft have I seen him on a Publick Stage,
Alone the gaping Multitude engage;
The Eyes and Ears of each Spectator draw,
Command their Thoughts, and give their Passions Law;
While other Musick in Oblivion drown'd,
Seem'd a dead Pulse, or a neglected Sound.

Alas! he's gone, our Great Apollo's dead,
And all that's sweet and tuneful with him fled.
hibernia—with one universal Cry,
Laments its Loss, and speaks his elegy.
Farewel, thou Author of refin'd Delight,
Too little known, too soon remov'd from Sight;
Those Fingers, which such Pleasure did convey,
Must now become to stupid Worms a prey:
Thy grateful fiddle with for ever stand
A silent Mourner for its master's Hand:
Thy art is only to be match'd Above,
Where Musick reigns, and in that Musick Love:
Where Thou wilt with the happy chorus join,
And quickly Thy melodious soul refine
To the exalted pitch of Harmony Divine.

Thomas Parnell's other poems:
  1. The Convert's Love
  2. When Ore My Temples Balmy Vapours Rise
  3. Out of Greek
  4. On Happiness in This Life
  5. Martial

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