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JONATHAN SWIFT 1765 INTRODUCTIONAUTHOR BIOGRAPHYPOEM TEXTPOEM SUMMARYTHEMESSTYLEHISTORICAL CONTEXTCRITICAL OVERVIEWCRITICISMSOURCESFURTHER READINGJonathan Swift's "A Satirical Elegy on the Death of a Late Famous General" was written in 1722 upon the death of the English general John Churchill, the Duke of Marlborough.The poem was first published formally in 1765, when it appeared in Jonathan Swift, Works, edited by John Hawkesworth.At age fourteen, Swift entered Trinity College, Dublin. As a result of the political turmoil, Swift left Ireland and Trinity College for England in 1689 without getting the master's degree that he had been working towards at the time.
Swift was plagued with fits of dizziness, and he left Moor Park for Ireland in 1690 for his health, but soon returned to England. He stayed there until Temple's death in 1699, helping him ready his memoirs and letters for publication. After Temple's death, Swift accepted an offer to work as secretary and chaplain to the Lord Justice Charles Berkeley in Ireland.
The job, however, Swift learned upon his arrival, had been given to someone else.
Swift is known as a great prose satirist rather than as a poet, although he wrote a voluminous amount of poetry, and "A Satirical Elegy on the Death of a Late Famous General" certainly falls well within his favored mode of expression.
Swift is universally known for his novel Gulliver's Travels, a sharp, bitter, and angry satire on everything from the nature of the English government to human nature itself.
True to his profit and his pride, He made them weep before he died.
Come hither, all ye empty things, 25 Ye bubbles raised by breath of kings; Who float upon the tide of state, Come hither, and behold your fate.Let pride be taught by this rebuke, How very mean a thing's a Duke; 30 From all his ill-got honors flung, Turned to that dirt from whence he sprung.Swift's "A Satirical Elegy on the Death of a Late Famous General" is divided into two parts. " This might be read as solemn shock, and yet the tone is more like unbelief, and the tone of the lines following does not suggest sadness.His mother, Abigail Errick, left Swift in Ireland with his nurse and went to live in England. In early winter, 1688, William of Orange, a Protestant, overthrew King James II, the Catholic king of England.Until Swift entered the Kilkenny School, some sixty miles from Dublin, he was shuttled back and forth between Ireland and England, sent to stay with his mother, his nurse, or his father's family. In Catholic Ireland, Trinity College was thrown into chaos and its classes suspended.At Moor Park, Temple's residence, Swift met Esther Johnson.She was eight years old at the time, her father was dead, and she was the daughter of one of Temple's servants.By this time, Swift had become a close advisor to the Tory government. Well, since he's gone, no matter how, 5 The last loud trump must wake him now: And, trust me, as the noise grows stronger, He'd wish to sleep a little longer.In 1714, when Queen Anne died and the Tories were displaced by the Whigs, who came to power with the ascendancy of George I to the throne, Swift returned to Ireland as Dean of St. In Ireland, Swift continued to write political pamphlets urging justice for Ireland. And could he be indeed so old As by the newspapers we're told?Swift became her tutor and developed a lifelong relationship with her, which perhaps extended even to matrimony, but that is not clear. Afterwards, he again left Moor Park for Ireland, where he was ordained as a priest in the Church of Ireland and became the administrator of a church in Kilroot.He wrote about her, assigning her literary manifestation the name Stella. Unhappy with his assignment there and perhaps disappointed in love, rejected by Jane Waring, to whom he had proposed marriage, Swift returned to Moor Park again in 1696.