The Works of the Rev Jonathan Swift, D D, Volume 16

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Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2012 - 432 pages
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Purchase of this book includes free trial access to where you can read more than a million books for free. This is an OCR edition with typos. Excerpt from book: ODE TO KING WILLIAM, ON HIS SUCCESSES IN IRELAXD. J. O purchase kingdoms, and to buy renown, Are arts peculiar to dissembling France; You, mighty monarch, nobler actions crown, And solid virtue does your name advance. Your matchless courage with your prudence joins The glorious structure of your fame to raise; With its own light your dazzling glory shines, And into adoration turns our praise. Had you by dull succession gain'd your crown (Cowards are monarchs by that title made), . Part of your merit Chance would call her own, And half your virtues had been lost in shade. But now your worthJts just reward shall have: What trophies and what triumphs are your due! Who could so well a dying nation save, At once deserve a crown, and gain it too ! You saw how near we were to ruin brought, You saw th' impetuous torrent rolling on; And timely on the coming danger thought, Which we could neither obviate nor shun. This Ode, which had been long sought after without success, was first ascertained to be Swift's in Nichols's Select Collection of Poems, 1778, Vol. IV. p. 303. That it is the Deans, there is not the least doubt. He refers to it in the second stanza of his Ode to the Athenian Society, and expressly marks it by a marginal note, under the title of The Ode 1 writ to the King in Ireland; see p. 24; and see also The Gentleman's Journal, juij, 1693, p. 13. N. c 3 Britannia Britannia stripp'd of her sole guard, the laws, Ready to fall Rome's bloody sacrifice; You straight stepp'd in, and from the monster'sjaws Did bravely snatch the lovely, helpless prize Nor this is all; as glorious is the care To preserve conquests, as at first to gain: In this your virtue claims a double share, Which, what is bravely won, ...

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About the author (2012)

Apparently doomed to an obscure Anglican parsonage in Laracor, Ireland, even after he had written his anonymous masterpiece, A Tale of a Tub (c.1696), Swift turned a political mission to England from the Irish Protestant clergy into an avenue to prominence as the chief propagandist for the Tory government. His exhilaration at achieving importance in his forties appears engagingly in his Journal to Stella (1710--13), addressed to Esther Johnson, a young protegee for whom Swift felt more warmth than for anyone else in his long life. At the death of Queen Anne and the fall of the Tories in 1714, Swift became dean of St. Patrick's Cathedral, Dublin. In Ireland, which he considered exile from a life of power and intellectual activity in London, Swift found time to defend his oppressed compatriots, sometimes in such contraband essays as his Drapier's Letters (1724), and sometimes in such short mordant pieces as the famous A Modest Proposal (1729); and there he wrote perhaps the greatest work of his time, Gulliver's Travels (1726). Using his characteristic device of the persona (a developed and sometimes satirized narrator, such as the anonymous hack writer of A Tale of a Tub or Isaac Bickerstaff in Predictions for the Ensuing Year, who exposes an astrologer), Swift created the hero Gulliver, who in the first instance stands for the bluff, decent, average Englishman and in the second, humanity in general. Gulliver is a full and powerful vision of a human being in a world in which violent passions, intellectual pride, and external chaos can degrade him or her---to animalism, in Swift's most horrifying images---but in which humans do have scope to act, guided by the Classical-Christian tradition. Gulliver's Travels has been an immensely successful children's book (although Swift did not care much for children), so widely popular through the world for its imagination, wit, fun, freshness, vigor, and narrative skill that its hero is in many languages a common proper noun. Perhaps as a consequence, its meaning has been the subject of continuing dispute, and its author has been called everything from sentimental to mad. Swift died in Dublin and was buried next to his beloved "Stella.

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