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Mules after these, camels, and dromedaries,
And waggons, fraught with utensils of war,
Such forces met not, nor so wide a camp,
When Agrican with all his northern powers
Besieged Albracca, as romances tell,

The city of Gallaphrone, from thence to win
The fairest of her sex, Angelica

His daughter, sought by many prowest knights,
Both Paynim, and the peers of Charlemain.
Such and so numerous was their chivalry.


[1667; æt. 59.]

Many are the sayings of the wise,
In ancient and in modern books enroll'd,
Extolling patience as the truest fortitude;
And to the bearing well of all calamities,
All chances incident to man's frail life,
Consolatories writ

With studied argument, and much persuasion sought,
Lenient of grief and anxious thought:

But with the afflicted in his pangs their sound

Little prevails, or rather seems a tune

Harsh, and of dissonant mood from his complaint :

Unless he feel within

Some source of consolation from above,

Secret refreshings, that repair his strength,

And fainting spirits uphold.

God of our fathers! what is man,

That thou towards him with hand so various,

Or might I say contrarious,

Temper❜st thy providence through his short course,

Not evenly, as thou rulest

The angelic orders, and inferior creatures mute,
Irrational and brute?

Nor do I name of men the common rout,

That, wandering loose about,

Grow up and perish, as the summer-fly,
Heads without name, no more remembered;
But such as thou hast solemnly elected,
With gifts and graces eminently adorned,
To some great work, thy glory,

And people's safety, which in part they effect •
Yet toward these thus dignified, thou oft

Amidst their height of noon,

Changest thy countenance, and thy hand, with no regard

Of highest favours past

From thee on them, or them to thee of service.

Nor only dost degrade them, or remit

To life obscured, which were a fair dismission,

But throw'st them lower than thou didst exalt them high, Unseemly falls in human eye,

Too grievous for the trespass or omission;

Oft leavest them to the hostile sword

Of heathen and profane, their carcasses

To dogs and fowls a prey, or else captived;

Or to the unjust tribunals, under change of times,
And condemnation of the ungrateful multitude.

If these they 'scape, perhaps in poverty

With sickness and disease thou bow'st them down,
Painful diseases and deform'd,

In crude old age;

Though not disordinate, yet causeless suffering


The punishment of dissolute days in fine,

Just or unjust, alike seem miserable,

For oft alike both come to evil end.


[BORN at Winestead near Hull, March 31, 1621; died in London, 1678. His poems were first collected by his widow, and published in a folio volume, 1681, but since that time about twenty-five new poems have been discovered. Mr. Grosart has published the complete works in the Fuller Worthies' Library.]

Andrew Marvell was not only a public man of mark and the first pamphleteer of his day, but a lyric and satiric poet. As a lyric poet he still ranks high. His range of subjects and styles is wide. He touches at different points Herbert, Cowley, Waller, Dryden, and the group of Lovelace and Suckling. But his most interesting connection is with Milton. Of that intellectual lustre which was produced by the union of classical culture and ancient love of liberty with Puritan enthusiasm, Milton was the central orb, Marvell a satellite, paler yet bright.

Like Milton, Marvell was at Cambridge, and there, after making himself an excellent Latinist, he graduated, as Milton had before him, in rebellious Liberalism by a quarrel with the authorities of his college. During his student days he was nearly drawn into the toils of the Jesuits; but he broke loose with an energy of reaction which has left its trace in Fleckno, his earliest satire. He afterwards spent four years on the Continent, living for some time at Rome, where, like Milton, he steeped his mind in Latin literature and inflamed his hatred of the Papacy. In 1650 Marvell became tutor to Mary the daughter of Fairfax, the general of the Parliament, who had laid down his command and was spending his quiet days in literature, gardening and collecting books and medals at his manor house of Nun Appleton in Yorkshire. Here Marvell was in a special home of the Protestant chivalry of which Spenser was the poet. Spenser accordingly

appears in his satires as the spokesman of English patriotism. The Hill and Grove at Billborow and Appleton House are memorials of the sojourn in the shades of Nun Appleton, and they bear no small resemblance to the compositions of Lord Fairfax. In 1657 Marvell was recommended to Bradshaw as Assistant Latin Secretary of the Council of State by Milton, who describes him in his letter as a man of singular desert, acquainted with the French, Italian, Spanish and Dutch languages, well read in the Greek and Latin authors, and one whom if he had any feeling of rivalry or jealousy he might hesitate to bring in as a coadjutor. Marvell did not at that time receive the appointment; but he was employed as tutor to young Dutton, Cromwell's intended son-in-law, at Eton, where he boarded with his pupil in the house of Oxenbridge, a zealous Puritan who had been driven into exile, with his wife, by prelatical persecution, and had preached in the Bermudas. By Cromwell as protector, Marvell was made joint Secretary with Milton. The connection has left memorials in several poems, including that on the Death of the Protector, in which we find a little picture, vivid and true, of the great man's look and bearing, by one who had often seen them.

'Where we (so once we used) shall now no more

To fetch day press about his chamber door,
From which he issued with that awful state,
It seemed Mars broke through Janus' double gate,
Yet always tempered with an air so mild,

As April suns that e'er so gentle smiled.'

On the return of the Stuarts, Milton, the defender of regicide, was driven into retirement, where he had leisure to prove that a great man may throw himself thoroughly into the struggles, the feelings, even the passions of his time, and yet keep Art, serene and unimpaired, in the sanctuary of his mind. Marvell, far less compromised and by no means regicidal, remained in public life, and as member for Hull sat, a Roman patriot incorruptible and inflexible, in the corrupt and servile parliaments of Charles II. The poems of his later days were not epics or lyrics, but satires, levelled, like his renowned pamphlets, against tyranny and wickedness in Church and State; and he died in the midst of a fierce literary affray with Parker, the most odious of the Restoration prelates, not without suspicion of poison. To Milton he remained bravely true, and his lines on Paradise Lost are about the earliest salutation of that sun as it rose amidst the clouds of the evil days.

As a poet Marvell is very unequal. He has depth of feeling, descriptive power, melody; his study of the classics could not fail to teach him form; sometimes we find in him an airy and tender grace which remind us of the lighter manner of Milton: but art with him was only an occasional recreation, not a regular pursuit ; he is often slovenly, sometimes intolerably diffuse, especially when he is seduced by the facility of the octosyllabic couplet. He was also eminently afflicted with the gift of 'wit' or ingenuity, much prized in his day. His conceits vie with those of Donne or Cowley. He is capable of saying of the Halcyon :

The viscous air where'er she fly
Follows and sucks her azure dye;
The jellying stream compacts below,
If it might fix her shadow so.'

And of Maria

'Maria such and so doth hush

The world and through the evening rush,
No new-born comet such a train

Draws through the sky nor star new-slain.
For straight those giddy rockets fail
Which from the putrid earth exhale,
But by her flames in heaven tried
Nature is wholly vitrified.'

The Garden is an English version of a poem written in Latin by Marvell himself. It may have gained by being cast originally in a classical mould, which would repel prolixity and extravagant conceits. In it Marvell has been said to approach Shelley : assuredly he shows a depth of poetic feeling wonderful in a political gladiator. The thoughts that dwell in 'a green shade' have never been more charmingly expressed.

A Drop of Dew, like The Garden, was composed first in Latin. It is a conceit, but a pretty conceit, gracefully as well as ingeniously worked out, and forms a good example of the contrast between the philosophic poetry of those days, a play of intellectual fancy, and its more spiritual and emotional counterpart in our own time. The concluding lines, with their stroke of 'wit' about the manna are a sad fall.

The Bermudas was no doubt suggested by the history of the Oxenbridges. It is the 'holy and cheerful note' of a little band of exiles for conscience sake wafted by Providence in their 'small boat' to a home in a land of beauty.

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