Thomas Parnell

Here you will find the Long Poem Hannah of poet Thomas Parnell


Now Crowds more off, retiring trumpetts sound
On Eccho's dying in their last rebound,
The notes of fancy seem no longer strong,
But sweetning closes fitt a private song. 
So when the storms forsake ye seas command
To break their forces in the winding land,
No more their blasts tumultuous rage proclaim,
But sweep in murmurs ore a murm'ring stream.

Then Seek ye Subject & its song be mine
Whose numbers next in Sacred story shine;
Go brightly-working thought, prepard to fly
Above ye page on hov'ring pinnions ly,
& beat with stronger force to make thee rise
Where beautious Hannah meets ye searching eyes.

There frame a town & fix a tent with cords,
The town be Shiloh calld, the tent ye Lords.
Carvd pillars filleted with silver rear
To close ye curtains in an outward square,
But those within it which ye porch uphold
Be finely wrought & overlaid with gold.

Here Eli comes to take ye resting Seat,
Slow-moving forward with a revrend gate,
Sacred in office, venerably sage
& venerably great in silverd age.

Here Hannah comes, a melancholly wife
Reproachd for barren in ye marriage life.
Like summer-mornings she to sight appears,
Bedewd & shining in the midst of tears.
Her heart in bitterness of grief she bowd,
& thus her wishes to the Lord she vowd.
If thou thine handmaid with compassion see,
If I my God am not forgott by thee,
If in mine offspring thou prolong my line,
The Child I wish for all his days be thine,
His life devoted in thy courts be led,
& not a rasour come upon his head.

So from recesses of her inmost soul
Through moving lips her still devotion stole:
As silent waters glide through parted trees
Whose branches tremble with a rising breeze.
The words were lost because her heart was low,
But free desire had taught ye mouth to go.
This Eli markd, & with a voice severe,
While yet she multiplyd her thoughts in prayr,
How long shall wine he crys distract thy breast,
Begon & lay ye drunken fitt by rest.
Ah says ye mourner count not this for sin, 
It is not wine but grief that workes within,
The spirit of thy wretched handmaid know,
Her prayr's complaint, & her condition woe.
Then spake ye Sacred Priest, in peace depart,
& with thy comfort God fullfill thine heart.
His blessing thus pronouncd with awfull sound,
The Vot'ry bending leaves ye solemn ground,
She seems confirmd the Lord has heard her crys,
& Chearfull Hope the tears of trouble drys,
& makes her alterd eyes irradiate roll
With Joy that dawns in thought upon ye soul.

Now lett ye Town & Tent & court remain,
& leap the time till Hannah comes again.
As painted prospects skip along ye green
from hills to mountains eminently seen,
& leave their intervalls that sink below
In deep retirement unexpressd to show.

Behold she comes (but not as once she came
To grieve to sigh & teach her eyes to stream.)
Content adorns her with a lively face,
An open look, & smiling kind of grace.
Her little Samuel in her arms she bears
The wish of long desire & Child of prayrs,
& as ye sacrifice she brought begun,
To rev'rend Eli she presents her son.
Here, crys ye Mother, here my Lord may see
The woman come who prayd in grief by thee,
The Child I su'd for God with bounty gave,
& what he granted let him now receive.

But still ye Vot'ry feeles her temper move
With all ye tender violence of Love.
That still enjoys ye gift, & inly burns
To search for larger or for more returns.
Then filld with blessings which allure to praise,
& raisd by Joy to soul-enchanting lays,
Thus thankes ye Lord beneficently-kind
In sweet effusions of ye gratefull mind.

My lifting heart with more than common heat
Sends up its thankes to God on ev'ry beat.
My glory raisd above ye reach of scorn
In God exalts its highly-planted horn.
My mouth enlargd mine enemy defys, 
& finds in Gods salvation full replys.
O Bright in holy beautys, Powr divine,
Theres none whose glory can compare wth thine,
None share thine honours, nay theres none beside,
No rock on which thy creatures can confide.

Ye proud in spirit who your gifts adore,
Unlearn the fault & speak with pride no more:
No more in words your arrogance be shown,
Nor call ye workes of Providence your own,
Since he that rules us infinitely knows,
& as he will his acts of Powr dispose.

The strong whose sinewy forces archd ye bow
Have seen it shatterd by ye conqu'ring foe.
The weak have felt their nerves more firmly brace,
& new-sprung vigour in the limbs encrease.
The full whom varyd tasts of plenty fed
Have lett their labour out to gain their bread.
The poor that languishd in a starving state
Content & full have ceased to beg their meat.
The barren womb, no longer barren now,
(O be my thankes accept