Thomas Parnell

(1679 - 1718 / Ireland)

Epigram - Poem by Thomas Parnell

The greatest Gifts that Nature does bestow,
Can't unassisted to Perfection grow:
A scanty Fortune clips the Wings of Fame,
And checks the Progress of a rising Name;
Each dastard Vertue drags a Captive's Chain,
And moves but slowly, for it moves with Pain.
Domestick Cares sit hard upon the Mind,
And cramp those Thoughts which shou'd be unconfin'd;
The Cries of Poverty alarm the Soul,
Abate its Vigour, its Designs controul:
The Stings of Want inflict the Wounds of Death,
And Motion always ceases with the Breath.
The Love of Friends is found a languid Fire,
That glares but faintly, and will soon expire;
Weak is its Force, nor can its Warmth be great,
A feeble Light begets a feeble Heat.
Wealth is the Fuel that must feed the Flame,
It dyes in Rags, and scarce deserves a Name.

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Poem Submitted: Saturday, April 17, 2010

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