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Best Famous Andrew Marvell Poems

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Written by Andrew Marvell | |

To His Coy Mistress

  Had we but world enough, and time,
This coyness, lady, were no crime.
We would sit down, and think which way To walk, and pass our long love's day.
Thou by the Indian Ganges' side Shouldst rubies find; I by the tide Of Humber would complain.
I would Love you ten years before the Flood, And you should, if you please, refuse Till the conversion of the Jews.
My vegetable love should grow Vaster than empires and more slow; An hundred years should go to praise Thine eyes, and on thy forehead gaze; Two hundred to adore each breast, But thirty thousand to the rest; An age at least to every part, And the last age should show your heart.
For, lady, you deserve this state, Nor would I love at lower rate.
But at my back I always hear Time's wingèd chariot hurrying near; And yonder all before us lie Deserts of vast eternity.
Thy beauty shall no more be found; Nor, in thy marble vault, shall sound My echoing song; then worms shall try That long-preserved virginity, And your quaint honor turn to dust, And into ashes all my lust: The grave's a fine and private place, But none, I think, do there embrace.
Now therefore, while the youthful hue Sits on thy skin like morning dew, And while thy willing soul transpires At every pore with instant fires, Now let us sport us while we may, And now, like amorous birds of prey, Rather at once our time devour Than languish in his slow-chapped power.
Let us roll all our strength and all Our sweetness up into one ball, And tear our pleasures with rough strife Thorough the iron gates of life: Thus, though we cannot make our sun Stand still, yet we will make him run.


Written by Andrew Marvell | |

The Gallery

Clora, come view my soul, and tell
Whether I have contrived it well.
Now all its several lodgings lie Composed into one gallery; And the great arras-hangings, made Of various faces, by are laid; That, for all furniture, you'll find Only your picture in my mind.
Here thou art painted in the dress Of an inhuman murderess; Examining upon our hearts Thy fertile shop of cruel arts: Engines more keen than ever yet Adornèd tyrant's cabinet; Of which the most tormenting are Black eyes, red lips, and curlèd hair.
But, on the other side, thou'rt drawn Like to Aurora in the dawn; When in the east she slumb'ring lies, And stretches out her milky thighs; While all the morning choir does sing, And manna falls, and roses spring; And, at thy feet, the wooing doves Sit perfecting their harmless loves.
Like an enchantress here thou show'st, Vexing thy restless lover's ghost; And, by a light obscure, dost rave Over his entrails, in the cave; Divining thence, with horrid care, How long thou shalt continue fair; And (when informed) them throw'st away, To be the greedy vulture's prey.
But, against that, thou sit'st afloat Like Venus in her pearly boat.
The halcyons, calming all that's nigh, Betwixt the air and water fly: Or, if some rolling wave appears, A mass of ambergris it bears: Nor blows more wind than what may well Convoy the perfume to the smell.
These pictures and a thousand more, Of thee, my gallery do store; In all the forms thou canst invent Either to please me, or torment: For thou alone to people me, Art grown a num'rous colony; And a collection choicer far Than or Whitehall's, or Mantua's were.
But, of these pictures and the rest, That at the entrance likes me best; Where the same posture, and the look Remains, with which I first was took: A tender shepherdess, whose hair Hangs loosely playing in the air, Transplanting flowers from the green hill, To crown her head, and bosom fill.


Written by Andrew Marvell | |

Ametas And Thestylis Making Hay-Ropes

 Ametas
Think'st Thou that this Love can stand,
Whilst Thou still dost say me nay?
Love unpaid does soon disband:
Love binds Love as Hay binds Hay.
Thestylis Think'st Thou that this Rope would twine If we both should turn one way? Where both parties so combine, Neither Love will twist nor Hay.
Ametas Thus you vain Excuses find, Which your selve and us delay: And Love tyes a Womans Mind Looser then with Ropes of Hay.
Thestylis What you cannot constant hope Must be taken as you may.
Ametas Then let's both lay by our Rope, And go kiss within the Hay.


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Written by Andrew Marvell | |

Musics Empire

 First was the world as one great cymbal made, 
Where jarring winds to infant Nature played.
All music was a solitary sound, To hollow rocks and murm'ring fountains bound.
Jubal first made the wilder notes agree; And Jubal tuned music's Jubilee; He call'd the echoes from their sullen cell, And built the organ's city where they dwell.
Each sought a consort in that lovely place, And virgin trebles wed the manly bass.
From whence the progeny of numbers new Into harmonious colonies withdrew.
Some to the lute, some to the viol went, And others chose the cornet eloquent, These practicing the wind, and those the wire, To sing men's triumphs, or in Heaven's choir.
Then music, the mosaic of the air, Did of all these a solemn noise prepare; With which she gain'd the empire of the ear, Including all between the earth and sphere.
Victorious sounds! yet here your homage do Unto a gentler conqueror than you; Who though he flies the music of his praise, Would with you Heaven's Hallelujahs raise.


Written by Andrew Marvell | |

To His Worthy Friend Doctor Witty Upon His Translation Of The Popular Errors

 Sit further, and make room for thine own fame,
Where just desert enrolles thy honour'd Name
The good Interpreter.
Some in this task Take of the Cypress vail, but leave a mask, Changing the Latine, but do more obscure That sence in English which was bright and pure.
So of Translators they are Authors grown, For ill Translators make the Book their own.
Others do strive with words and forced phrase To add such lustre, and so many rayes, That but to make the Vessel shining, they Much of the precious Metal rub away.
He is Translations thief that addeth more, As much as he that taketh from the Store Of the first Author.
Here he maketh blots That mends; and added beauties are but spots.
Caelia whose English doth more richly flow Then Tagus, purer then dissolved snow, And sweet as are her lips that speak it, she Now learns the tongues of France and Italy; But she is Caelia still: no other grace But her own smiles commend that lovely face; Her native beauty's not Italianated, Nor her chast mind into the French translated: Her thoughts are English, though her sparkling wit With other Language doth them fitly fit.
Translators learn of her: but stay I slide Down into Error with the Vulgar tide; Women must not teach here: the Doctor doth Stint them to Cawdles Almond-milk, and Broth.
Now I reform, and surely so will all Whose happy Eyes on thy Translation fall, I see the people hastning to thy Book, Liking themselves the worse the more they look, And so disliking, that they nothing see Now worth the liking, but thy Book and thee.
And (if I Judgement have) I censure right; For something guides my hand that I must write.
You have Translations statutes best fulfil'd.
That handling neither sully nor would guild


Written by Andrew Marvell | |

Edmundi Trotii Epitaphium

 Charissimo Filio
Edmundo Trotio
Posuimus Pater & Mater
Frustra superstites.
Legite Parentes, vanissimus hominum ordo, Figuli Filiorum, Substructores Hominum, Fartores Opum, Longi Speratores, Et nostro, si fas, sapite infortunio.
Fruit Edmundus Trottuis.
E quatuor masculae stirpis residuus, Statura justa, Forma virili, specie eximic, Medio juventutis Robore simul & Flore, Alpectu, In cessu, sermone juxta amabilis, Et siquid ultra Cineri pretium addit.
Honesta Diciplina domi imbutus, Peregre profectus Generosis Artibus Animum Et exercitiis Corpus firmaverat.
Circaeam Insulam, Scopulos Sirenum Praeternavigavit, Et in hoc naufragio morum & saeculi Solus perdiderat nihil, auxit plurimum.
Hinc erga Deum pietate, Erga nos Amore & Obsequio, Comitate erga Omnes, & intra se Modestia Insignis, & quantaevis fortunae capax: Delitiae Aequalium, Senum Plausus, Oculi Parentum, (nunc, ah, Lachrymae) In eo tandem peccavit quod mortalis.
Et fatali Pustularum morbo aspersus, Factus est (Ut verae Laudis Invidiam ficto Convitio levemus) Proditor Amicorum, Parricida Parentum, Familiae Spongia: Et Naturae invertens ordinem Nostri suique Contemptor, Mundi Desertor, defecit ad Deum.
Undecimo Augusti; Aerae Christae 1667.
Talis quum fuerit Calo non invidemus.


Written by Andrew Marvell | |

In Effigiem Oliveri Cromwell

 Haec est quae toties Inimicos Umbra fugavit,
At sub qua Cives Otia lenta terunt.
In eandem Reginae Sueciae transmissam Bellipotens Virgo, septem Regina Trionum.
Christina, Arctoi lucida stella Poli; Cernis quas merui dura sub Casside Rugas; Sicque Senex Armis impiger Ora fero; Invia Fatorum dum per Vestigia nitor, Exequor & Populi fortia Jussa Manu.
At tibi submittit frontem reverentior Umbra, Nec sunt hi Vultus Regibus usque truces.


Written by Andrew Marvell | |

Senec. Traged. Ex Thyeste Chor.2

 Translated.
Senec.
Traged.
ex Thyeste Chor.
2.
Stet quicunque volet potens Aulae culmine lubrico &c.
Climb at Court for me that will Tottering favors Pinacle; All I seek is to lye still.
Settled in some secret Nest In calm Leisure let me rest; And far of the publick Stage Pass away my silent Age.
Thus when without noise, unknown, I have liv'd out all my span, I shall dye, without a groan, An old honest Country man.
Who expos'd to others Ey's, Into his own Heart ne'r pry's, Death to him's a Strange surprise


Written by Andrew Marvell | |

Epigramma in Duos montes Amosclivum Et Bilboreum

 Farfacio.
Cernis ut ingenti distinguant limite campum Montis Amos clivi Bilboreique juga! Ille stat indomitus turritis undisque saxis: Cingit huic laetum Fraximus alta Caput.
Illi petra minax rigidis cervicibus horret: Huic quatiunt viridis lenia colla jubas.
Fulcit Atlanteo Rupes ea vertice coelos: Collis at hic humeros subjicit Herculeos.
Hic ceu carceribus visum sylvaque coercet: Ille Oculos alter dum quasi meta trahit.
Ille Giganteum surgit ceu Pelion Ossa: Hic agit ut Pindi culmine Nympha choros.
Erectus, praeceps, salebrosus, & arduus ille: Aeclivis, placidus, mollis, amoenus hic est.
Dissimilis Domino coiit Natura sub uno; Farfaciaque tremunt sub ditione pares.
Dumque triumphanti terras perlabitur Axe, Praeteriens aequa stringit utrumque Rota.
Asper in adversos, facilis cedentibus idem; Ut credas Montes extimulasse suos.
Hi sunt Alcidae Borealis nempe Columnae, Quos medio scindit vallis opaca freto.
An potius longe sic prona cacumina nutant, Parnassus cupiant esse Maria tuus.


Written by Andrew Marvell | |

Upon An Eunuch; A Poet. Fragment

 Nec sterilem te crede; Licet, mulieribus exul,
Falcem virginiae nequeas immitere messi,
Et nostro peccare modo.
Tibi Fama perenne Praegnabit; rapiesque novem de monse Sorores; Et pariet modulos Echo repetita Nepotes.


Written by Andrew Marvell | |

The Picture Of Little T.C. In A Prospect Of Flowers

 See with what simplicity
This Nimph begins her golden daies!
In the green Grass she loves to lie,
And there with her fair Aspect tames
The Wilder flow'rs, and gives them names:
But only with the Roses playes;
And them does tell
What Colour best becomes them, and what Smell.
Who can foretel for what high cause This Darling of the Gods was born! Yet this is She whose chaster Laws The wanton Love shall one day fear, And, under her command severe, See his Bow broke and Ensigns torn.
Happy, who can Appease this virtuous Enemy of Man! O then let me in time compound, And parly with those conquering Eyes; Ere they have try'd their force to wound, Ere, with their glancing wheels, they drive In Triumph over Hearts that strive, And them that yield but more despise.
Let me be laid, Where I may see thy Glories from some Shade.
Mean time, whilst every verdant thing It self does at thy Beauty charm, Reform the errours of the Spring; Make that the Tulips may have share Of sweetness, seeing they are fair; And Roses of their thorns disarm: But most procure That Violets may a longer Age endure.
But O young beauty of the Woods, Whom Nature courts with fruits and flow'rs, Gather the Flow'rs, but spare the Buds; Lest Flora angry at thy crime, To kill her Infants in their prime, Do quickly make th' Example Yours; And, ere we see, Nip in the blossome all our hopes and Thee.


Written by Andrew Marvell | |

A Dialogue Between the Resolved Soul And Created Pleasure

 Courage my Soul, now learn to wield
The weight of thine immortal Shield.
Close on thy Head thy Helmet bright.
Ballance thy Sword against the Fight.
See where an Army, strong as fair, With silken Banners spreads the air.
Now, if thou bee'st that thing Divine, In this day's Combat let it shine: And shew that Nature wants an Art To conquer one resolved Heart.
Pleasure Welcome the Creations Guest, Lord of Earth, and Heavens Heir.
Lay aside that Warlike Crest, And of Nature's banquet share: Where the Souls of fruits and flow'rs Stand prepar'd to heighten yours.
Soul I sup above, and cannot stay To bait so long upon the way.
Pleasure On these downy Pillows lye, Whose soft Plumes will thither fly: On these Roses strow'd so plain Lest one Leaf thy Side should strain.
Soul My gentler Rest is on a Thought, Conscious of doing what I ought.
Pleasure If thou bee'st with Perfumes pleas'd, Such as oft the Gods appeas'd, Thou in fragrant Clouds shalt show Like another God below.
Soul A Soul that knowes not to presume Is Heaven's and its own perfume.
Pleasure Every thing does seem to vie Which should first attract thine Eye: But since none deserves that grace, In this Crystal view thy face.
Soul When the Creator's skill is priz'd, The rest is all but Earth disguis'd.
Pleasure Heark how Musick then prepares For thy Stay these charming Aires ; Which the posting Winds recall, And suspend the Rivers Fall.
Soul Had I but any time to lose, On this I would it all dispose.
Cease Tempter.
None can chain a mind Whom this sweet Chordage cannot bind.
Chorus Earth cannot shew so brave a Sight As when a single Soul does fence The Batteries of alluring Sense, And Heaven views it with delight.
Then persevere: for still new Charges sound: And if thou overcom'st thou shalt be crown'd.
Pleasure All this fair, and cost, and sweet, Which scatteringly doth shine, Shall within one Beauty meet, And she be only thine.
Soul If things of Sight such Heavens be, What Heavens are those we cannot see? Pleasure Where so e're thy Foot shall go The minted Gold shall lie; Till thou purchase all below, And want new Worlds to buy.
Soul Wer't not a price who 'ld value Gold? And that's worth nought that can be sold.
Pleasure Wilt thou all the Glory have That War or Peace commend? Half the World shall be thy Slave The other half thy Friend.
Soul What Friends, if to my self untrue? What Slaves, unless I captive you? Pleasure Thou shalt know each hidden Cause; And see the future Time: Try what depth the Centre draws; And then to Heaven climb.
Soul None thither mounts by the degree Of Knowledge, but Humility.
Chorus Triumph, triumph, victorious Soul; The World has not one Pleasure more: The rest does lie beyond the pole, And is thine everlasting Store.


Written by Andrew Marvell | |

Upon The Hill And Grove At Bill-borow

 To the Lord Fairfax.
See how the arched Earth does here Rise in a perfect Hemisphere! The stiffest Compass could not strike A line more circular and like; Nor softest Pensel draw a Brow.
So equal as this Hill does bow.
It seems as for a Model laid, And that the World by it was made.
Here learn ye Mountains more unjust, Which to abrupter greatness thrust, That do with your hook-shoulder'd height The Earth deform and Heaven frght.
For whose excrescence ill design'd, Nature must a new Center find, Learn here those humble steps to tread, Which to securer Glory lead.
See what a soft access and wide Lyes open to its grassy side; Nor with the rugged path deterrs The feet of breathless Travellers.
See then how courteous it ascends, And all the way ir rises bends; Nor for it self the height does gain, But only strives to raise the Plain.
Yet thus it all the field commands, And in unenvy'd Greatness stands, Discerning furthe then the Cliff Of Heaven-daring Teneriff.
How glad the weary Seamen hast When they salute it from the Mast! By Night the Northern Star their way Directs, and this no less by Day.
Upon its crest this Mountain grave A Plum of aged Trees does wave.
No hostile hand durst ere invade With impious Steel the sacred Shade.
For something alwaies did appear Of the Great Masters terrour there: And Men could hear his Armour still Ratling through all the Grove and Hill.
Fear of the Master, and respect Of the great Nymph did it protect; Vera the Nymph that him inspir'd, To whom he often here retir'd, And on these Okes ingrav'd her Name; Such Wounds alone these Woods became: But ere he well the Barks could part 'Twas writ already in their Heart.
For they ('tis credible) have sense, As we, of Love and Reverence, And underneath the Courser Rind The Genius of the house do bind.
Hence they successes seem to know, And in their Lord's advancement grow; But in no Memory were seen As under this so streight and green.
Yet now no further strive to shoot, Contented if they fix their Root.
Nor to the winds uncertain gust, Their prudent Heads too far intrust.
Onely sometimes a flutt'ring Breez Discourses with the breathing Trees; Which in their modest Whispers name Those Acts that swell'd the Cheek of Fame.
Much other Groves, say they, then these And other Hills him once did please.
Through Groves of Pikes he thunder'd then, And Mountains rais'd of dying Men.
For all the Civick Garlands due To him our Branches are but few.
Nor are our Trunks enow to bear The Trophees of one fertile Year.
'Tis true, the Trees nor ever spoke More certain Oracles in Oak.
But Peace (if you his favour prize) That Courage its own Praises flies.
Therefore to your obscurer Seats From his own Brightness he retreats: Nor he the Hills without the Groves, Nor Height but with Retirement loves.


Written by Andrew Marvell | |

Clorinda And Damon

 C.
Damon come drive thy flocks this way.
D.
No : 'tis too late they went astray.
C.
I have a grassy Scutcheon spy'd, Where Flora blazons all her pride.
The grass I aim to feast thy Sheep : The Flow'rs I for thy Temples keep.
D.
Grass withers; and the Flow'rs too fade.
C.
Seize the short Joyes then, ere they vade.
Seest thou that unfrequented Cave ? D.
That den? C.
Loves Shrine.
D.
But Virtue's Grave.
C.
In whose cool bosome we may lye Safe from the Sun.
D.
Not Heaven's Eye.
C.
Near this, a Fountaines liquid Bell Tinkles within the concave Shell.
D.
Might a Soul bath there and be clean, Or slake its Drought? C.
What is 't you mean? D.
These once had been enticing things, Clorinda, Pastures, Caves, and Springs.
C.
And what late change? D.
The other day Pan met me.
C.
What did great Pan say? D.
Words that transcend poor Shepherds skill, But he ere since my Songs does fill: And his Name swells my slender Oate.
C.
Sweet must Pan sound in Damons Note.
D.
Clorinda's voice might make it sweet.
C.
Who would not in Pan's Praises meet ? Chorus Of Pan the flowry pastures sing, Caves eccho and the Fountains ring.
Sing then while he doth us inspire; For all the world is our Pan's Quire.


Written by Andrew Marvell | |

A Dialogue Between Thyrsis And Dorinda

 Dorinda
When Death, shall snatch us from these Kids,
And shut up our divided Lids,
Tell me Thyrsis, prethee do,
Whither thou and I must go.
Thyrsis To the Elizium: (Dorinda) oh where i'st? Thyrsis A Chast Soul, can never mis't.
Dorinda I know no way, but one, our home Is our Elizium? Thyrsis Cast thine Eye to yonder Skie, There the milky way doth lye; 'Tis a sure but rugged way, That leads to Everlasting day.
Dorinda There Birds may nest, but how can I, That have no wings and cannot fly.
Thyrsis Do not sigh (fair Nimph) for fire Hath no wings, yet doth aspire Till it hit, against the pole, Heaven's the Center of the Soul.
Dorinda But in Elizium how do they Pass Eternity away.
Thyrsis Ho, ther's, neither hope nor fear Ther's no Wolf, no Fox, no Bear.
No need of Dog to fetch our stray, Our Lightfoot we may give away; And there most sweetly thine Ear May feast with Musick of the Sphear.
How I my future state By silent thinking, Antidate: I preethe let us spend, our time come, In talking of Elizium.
Thyrsis Then I'le go on: There, sheep are full Of softest grass, and softest wooll; There, birds sing Consorts, garlands grow, Cold winds do whisper,springs do flow.
There, alwayes is, a rising Sun, And day is ever, but begun.
Shepheards there, bear equal sway, And every Nimph's a Queen of May.
Dorinda Ah me, ah me.
Thyrsis Dorinda, why do'st Cry? Dorinda I'm sick, I'm sick, and fain would dye: Convinc't me now, that this is true, By bidding, with mee, all adieu I cannot live, without thee, I Will for thee,much more with thee dye.
Dorinda Then let us give Corellia charge o'th Sheep, And thou and I'le pick poppies and them steep In wine, and drink on't even till we weep, So shall we smoothly pass away in sleep.