By Tricia Patterson
“O Time! whose verdicts mock our own/ The only righteous judge art thou/ That poor old exile, sad and lone/ Is Latium’s other Virgil now.”- Excerpt from “On a Bust of Dante”, Thomas William Parsons
While Parsons was greatly respected by many of his contemporaries, including Ralph Waldo Emerson and Oliver Wendell Holmes, he was often characterized as more in tune with a time and place other than his own, probably resulting from his interest in Dante, t
"Into the noiseless country Annie went,
Among the silent people where no sound
Of wheel or voice or implement – no roar
Of wind or billow moves the tranquil air:
And oft at midnight when my strength is spent
And day’s delirium in the lull is drowned
Of deepening darkness, as I kneel before
Her palm and cross, comes to my soul this prayer,
That partly brings me back to my content,
'Oh, that hushed forest! – soon may I be there!'"
Eleven years later, on September 3rd of 1892, Parsons died from apoplexy during a stroke. He was found dead in a well in Scituate, Massachusetts, where he had been staying with his sister and being cared for by a nurse.
The Divine Comedy of Dante Aleghieri. Boston and New York: Houghton, Mifflin and Company, 1893.
(Cutter: VIP .D2 . Ep)
Poems. Boston and New York: Houghton, Mifflin and Company, 1893.
(Cutter: VEP .P25 .2)
The Shadow of the Obelisk and Other Poems. London: Hatchards, Piccadilly, 1872. (Cutter: VEP .P25 .s)
Boston Athenaeum. The Athenaeum Centenary: The Influence and History of the Boston Athenaeum from 1807-1907. Boston: The Boston Athenaeum, 1907.
Boston Evening Trascript (Boston, MA) Obituary of Thomas W. Parsons. September 6, 1892.
Hovey, Richard. Seaward: An Elegy on the Death of Thomas William Parsons. Boston: D. Lothrop Company, 1893.
Warren, Austin in Letters by T.W. Parsons, edited by Haraszti, Zoltan. Boston: Trustees of the Public Library, 1939.