Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
Grant Wilson, John Fiske and Stanley L. Klos. Six volumes, New York: D. Appleton
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PARKE, John, poet, born in Dover, Delaware, 7 April, 1754; died near there, 11 December, 1789. He was educated at the College of Philadelphia. At the beginning of the Revolutionary war he entered the Continental army, and he served in the quartermaster's department, and was with Washington's army till the close of hostilities, attaining the rank of lieutenant-colonel. After the peace he lived for some time in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and afterward in Virginia. Colonel Parke published "The Lyric Works of Horace, translated into English Verse, to which are added a Number of Original Poems" (Philadelphia, 1786). The volume was issued under the pen-name of "A Native of America." The work was dedicated to General Washington, and the translations, which are in rhymed verse, are paraphrased by the substitution of American public characters for the Roman worthies to whom Horace addressed his odes, and by the application of descriptive passages and allusions to local and contemporary conditions. The ode that celebrates the return of Augustus from Spain is made to apply to Washington's victorious return from Virginia. Besides Parke's own productions, the volume contains poems by some of his friends, and parodies by John Wilcocks, a young British officer, and preserves some elegant translations from Anacreon's odes and Ovid's elegies, made more than fifty years before by the prothonotary of the New Castle court, David French (q. v.).
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