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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 |


 Quisnam adeo, mortale genus, praecordia versat:
Heu Palmae, Laurique furor, vel simplicis Herbae!
Arbor ut indomitos ornet vix una labores;
Tempora nec foliis praecingat tota maglignis.
Dum simud implexi, tranquillae ad ferta Quiaetis, Omnigeni coeunt Flores, integraque Sylva.
Alma Quies, teneo te! & te Germana Quietis Simplicitas! Vos ergo diu per Templa, per urbes, Quaesivi, Regum perque alta Palatia frustra.
Sed vos Hotrorum per opaca siluentia longe Celarant Plantae virides, & concolor Umbra.
O! mibi si vestros liceat violasse recessus.
Erranti, lasso, & vitae melioris anhelo, Municipem servate novum, votoque potitum, Frondosae Cives optate in florea Regna.
Me quoque, vos Musae, &, te conscie testor Apollo, Non Armenta juvant hominum, Circique boatus, Mugitusve Fori; sed me Penetralia veris, Horroresque trahunt muti, & Consortia sola.
Virgineae quem non suspendit Gratia formae? Quam candore Nives vincentum, Ostrumque rubore, Vestra tamen viridis superet (me judice) Virtus.
Nec foliis certare Comae, nec Brachia ramis, Nec possint tremulos voces aequare susurros.
Ah quoties saevos vidi (quis credat?) Amantes Sculpentes Dominae potiori in cortice nomen? Nec puduit truncis inscribere vulnera sacris.
Ast Ego, si vestras unquam temeravero stirpes, Nulla Neaera, Chloe, Faustina, Corynna, legetur: In proprio sed quaeque libro signabitur Arbos.
O charae Platanus, Cyparissus, Populus, Ulnus! Hic Amor, exutis crepidatus inambulat alis, Enerves arcus & stridula tela reponens, Invertitque faces, nec se cupit usque timeri; Aut experrectus jacet, indormitque pharetrae; Non auditurus quanquam Cytherea vocarit; Nequitias referuut nec somnia vana priores.
Laetantur Superi, defervescente Tyranno, Et licet experti toties Nymphasque Deasque, Arbore nunc melius potiuntur quisque cupita.
Jupiter annosam, neglecta conjuge, Quercum Deperit; baud alia doluit sic pellice.
Lemniacum temerant vestigia nulla Cubile, Nic Veneris Mavors meminit si Fraxinus adsit.
Formosae pressit Daphnes vestigia Phaebus Ut fieret Laurus; sed nil quaesiverat ultra.
Capripes & peteret quod Pan Syringa fugacem, Hoc erat ut Calamum posset reperire Sonorum.
Note: Desunt multa.
Nec tu, Opisex horti, grato sine carmine abibis: Qui brevibus plantis, & laeto flore, notasti Crescentes horas, atque intervalla diei.
Sol ibi candidior fragrantia Signa pererrat; Proque truci Tauro, stricto pro forcipe Cancri, Securis violaeque rosaeque allabitur umbris.
Sedula quin & Apis, mellito intenta labori, Horologo sua pensa thymo Signare videtur.
Temporis O suaves lapsus! O Otia sana! O Herbis dignae numerari & Floribus Horae!

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Written by Andrew Marvell |


 Regibus haec posuit Ludovicus Templa futuris;
Gratior ast ipsi Castra fuere Domus.

Written by Andrew Marvell |

A Dialogue Between The Soul And Body

O Who shall, from this Dungeon, raise
A Soul inslav'd so many wayes?
With bolts of Bones, that fetter'd stands
In Feet ; and manacled in Hands.
Here blinded with an Eye ; and there Deaf with the drumming of an Ear.
A Soul hung up, as 'twere, in Chains Of Nerves, and Arteries, and Veins.
Tortur'd, besides each other part,1 In a vain Head, and double Heart.
Body O who shall me deliver whole, From bonds of this Tyrannic Soul? Which, stretcht upright, impales me so, That mine own Precipice I go; And warms and moves this needless Frame: (A Fever could but do the same.
) And, wanting where its spight to try, Has made me live to let me dye.
A Body that could never rest, Since this ill Spirit it possest.
Soul What Magic could me thus confine Within anothers Grief to pine? Where whatsoever it complain, I feel, that cannot feel, the pain.
And all my Care its self employes, That to preserve, which me destroys: Constrain'd not only to indure Diseases, but, whats worse, the Cure: And ready oft the Port to gain, Am Shipwrackt into Health again.
Body But Physick yet could never reach The Maladies Thou me dost teach; Whom first the Cramp of Hope does Tear: And then the Palsie Shakes of Fear.
The Pestilence of Love does heat : Or Hatred's hidden Ulcer eat.
Joy's chearful Madness does perplex: Or Sorrow's other Madness vex.
Which Knowledge forces me to know; And Memory will not foregoe.
What but a Soul could have the wit To build me up for Sin so fit? So Architects do square and hew, Green Trees that in the Forest grew.

Written by Andrew Marvell |

On A Drop Of Dew

 See how the Orient Dew,
Shed from the Bosom of the Morn
Into the blowing Roses,
Yet careless of its Mansion new;
For the clear Region where 'twas born
Round in its self incloses:
And in its little Globes Extent,
Frames as it can its native Element.
How it the purple flow'r does slight, Scarce touching where it lyes, But gazing back upon the Skies, Shines with a mournful Light; Like its own Tear, Because so long divided from the Sphear.
Restless it roules and unsecure, Trembling lest it grow impure: Till the warm Sun pitty it's Pain, And to the Skies exhale it back again.
So the Soul, that Drop, that Ray Of the clear Fountain of Eternal Day, Could it within the humane flow'r be seen, Remembring still its former height, Shuns the sweat leaves and blossoms green; And, recollecting its own Light, Does, in its pure and circling thoughts, express The greater Heaven in an Heaven less.
In how coy a Figure wound, Every way it turns away: So the World excluding round, Yet receiving in the Day.
Dark beneath, but bright above: Here disdaining, there in Love.
How loose and easie hence to go: How girt and ready to ascend.
Moving but on a point below, It all about does upwards bend.
Such did the Manna's sacred Dew destil; White, and intire, though congeal'd and chill.
Congeal'd on Earth: but does, dissolving, run Into the Glories of th' Almighty Sun.

Written by Andrew Marvell |


 Where the remote Bermudas ride
In th' Oceans bosome unespy'd,
From a small Boat, that row'd along,
The listning Winds receiv'd this Song.
What should we do but sing his Praise That led us through the watry Maze, Unto an Isle so long unknown, And yet far kinder than our own? Where he the huge Sea-Monsters wracks, That lift the Deep upon their Backs.
He lands us on a grassy stage; Safe from the Storms, and Prelat's rage.
He gave us this eternal Spring, Which here enamells every thing; And sends the Fowl's to us in care, On daily Visits through the Air, He hangs in shades the Orange bright, Like golden Lamps in a green Night.
And does in the Pomgranates close, Jewels more rich than Ormus show's.
He makes the Figs our mouths to meet; And throws the Melons at our feet.
But Apples plants of such a price, No Tree could ever bear them twice.
With Cedars, chosen by his hand, From Lebanon, he stores the Land.
And makes the hollow Seas, that roar, Proclaime the Ambergris on shoar.
He cast (of which we rather boast) The Gospels Pearl upon our coast.
And in these Rocks for us did frame A Temple, where to sound his Name.
Oh let our Voice his Praise exalt, Till it arrive at Heavens Vault: Which thence (perhaps) rebounding, may Eccho beyond the Mexique Bay.
Thus sung they, in the English boat, An holy and a chearful Note, And all the way, to guide their Chime, With falling Oars they kept the time.

Written by Andrew Marvell |

The Mowers Song

 My Mind was once the true survey
Of all these Medows fresh and gay;
And in the greenness of the Grass
Did see its Hopes as in a Glass;
When Juliana came, and she
What I do to the Grass, does to my Thoughts and Me.
But these, while I with Sorrow pine, Grew more luxuriant still and fine; That not one Blade of Grass you spy'd, But had a Flower on either side; When Juliana came, and She What I do to the Grass, does to my Thoughts and Me.
Unthankful Meadows, could you so A fellowship so true forego, And in your gawdy May-games meet, While I lay trodden under feet? When Juliana came , and She What I do to the Grass, does to my Thoughts and Me.
But what you in Compassion ought, Shall now by my Revenge be wrought: And Flow'rs, and Grass, and I and all, Will in one common Ruine fall.
For Juliana comes, and She What I do to the Grass, does to my Thoughts and Me.
And thus, ye Meadows, which have been Companions of my thoughts more green, Shall now the Heraldry become With which I shall adorn my Tomb; For Juliana comes, and She What I do to the Grass, does to my Thoughts and Me.

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 |

Clorinda And Damon

Damon come drive thy flocks this way.
No : 'tis too late they went astray.
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.
Grass withers; and the Flow'rs too fade.
Seize the short Joyes then, ere they vade.
Seest thou that unfrequented Cave ? D.
That den? C.
Loves Shrine.
But Virtue's Grave.
In whose cool bosome we may lye Safe from the Sun.
Not Heaven's Eye.
Near this, a Fountaines liquid Bell Tinkles within the concave Shell.
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.
And what late change? D.
The other day Pan met me.
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.
Sweet must Pan sound in Damons Note.
Clorinda's voice might make it sweet.
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 Archibald MacLeish |

You Andrew Marvell

 And here face down beneath the sun
And here upon earth's noonward height
To feel the always coming on
The always rising of the night

To feel creep up the curving east
The earthy chill of dusk and slow
Upon those under lands the vast
And ever climbing shadow grow

And strange at Ecbatan the trees
Take leaf by leaf the evening strange
The flooding dark about their knees
The mountains over Persia change

And now at Kermanshah the gate
Dark empty and the withered grass
And through the twilight now the late
Few travelers in the westward pass

And Baghdad darken and the bridge
Across the silent river gone
And through Arabia the edge
Of evening widen and steal on

And deepen on Palmyra's street
The wheel rut in the ruined stone
And Lebanon fade out and Crete
High through the clouds and overblown

And over Sicily the air
Still flashing with the landward gulls
And loom and slowly disappear
The sails above the shadowy hulls

And Spain go under the the shore
Of Africa the gilded sand
And evening vanish and no more
The low pale light across that land

Nor now the long light on the sea

And here face downward in the sun
To feel how swift how secretly
The shadow of the night comes on.

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 |

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 |

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.