Andrew Marvell was an English metaphysical poet, satirist and politician who sat in the House of Commons at various times between 1659 and 1678. During the Commonwealth period he was a colleague and friend of John Milton.
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Famous Andrew Marvell Poems
Ametas And Thestylis Making Hay-Ropes
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.
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.
Thus you vain Excuses find,
Which your selve and us delay:
And Love tyes a Womans Mind
Looser then with Ropes of Hay.
What you cannot constant hope
Must be taken as you may.
Then let’s both lay by our Rope,
And go kiss within the Hay.
On Mr. Milton’s Paradise Lost
When I beheld the Poet blind, yet bold,
In slender Book his vast Design unfold,
Messiah Crown’d, Gods Reconcil’d Decree,
Rebelling Angels, the Forbidden Tree,
Heav’n, Hell, Earth, Chaos, All; the Argument
Held me a while misdoubting his Intent,
That he would ruine (for I saw him strong)
The sacred Truths to Fable and old Song,
(So Sampson groap’d the Temples Posts in spight)
The World o’rewhelming to revenge his Sight.
Yet as I read, soon growing less severe,
I lik’d his Project, the success did fear;
Through that wide Field how he his way should find
O’re which lame Faith leads Understanding blind;
Lest he perplext the things he would explain,
And what was easie he should render vain.
Or if a Work so infinite he spann’d,
Jealous I was that some less skilful hand
(Such as disquiet alwayes what is well,
And by ill imitating would excell)
Might hence presume the whole Creations day
To change in Scenes, and show it in a Play.
Pardon me, Mighty Poet, nor despise
My causeless, yet not impious, surmise.
But I am now convinc’d, and none will dare
Within thy Labours to pretend a Share.
Thou hast not miss’d one thought that could be fit,
And all that was improper dost omit:
So that no room is here for Writers left,
But to detect their Ignorance or Theft.
That Majesty which through thy Work doth Reign
Draws the Devout, deterring the Profane.
And things divine thou treats of in such state
As them preserves, and Thee in violate.
At once delight and horrour on us seize,
Thou singst with so much gravity and ease;
And above humane flight dost soar aloft,
With Plume so strong, so equal, and so soft.
The Bird nam’d from that Paradise you sing
So never Flags, but alwaies keeps on Wing.
Where couldst thou Words of such a compass find?
Whence furnish such a vast expense of Mind?
Just Heav’n Thee, like Tiresias, to requite,
Rewards with Prophesie thy loss of Sight.
Well might thou scorn thy Readers to allure
With tinkling Rhime, of thy own Sense secure;
While the Town-Bays writes all the while and spells,
And like a Pack-Horse tires without his Bells.
Their Fancies like our bushy Points appear,
The Poets tag them; we for fashion wear.
I too transported by the Mode offend,
And while I meant to Praise thee, must Commend.
Thy verse created like thy Theme sublime,
In Number, Weight, and Measure, needs not Rhime.
Epigramma in Duos montes Amosclivum Et Bilboreum
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.
In The French Translation Of Lucan, By Monsieur De Brebeuf
C’est de luy que nous vient cet Art ingenieux
De peindre la Parole, et deparler aua Yeux;
Et, parles traits divers de figures tracees,
Donner de la couleur et du corps aux pensees.
A Dialogue Between Thyrsis And 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.
To the Elizium: (Dorinda) oh where i’st?
A Chast Soul, can never mis’t.
I know no way, but one, our home
Is our Elizium?
Cast thine Eye to yonder Skie,
There the milky way doth lye;
‘Tis a sure but rugged way,
That leads to Everlasting day.
There Birds may nest, but how can I,
That have no wings and cannot fly.
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.
But in Elizium how do they
Pass Eternity away.
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.
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.
Ah me, ah me.
Dorinda, why do’st Cry?
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.
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.
You, that decipher out the Fate
Of humane Off-springs from the Skies,
What mean these Infants which of late
Spring from the Starrs of Chlora’s Eyes?
Her Eyes confus’d, and doubled ore,
With Tears suspended ere they flow;
Seem bending upwards, to restore
To Heaven, whence it came, their Woe.
When, molding of the watry Sphears,
Slow drops unty themselves away;
As if she, with those precious Tears,
Would strow the ground where Strephon lay.
Yet some affirm, pretending Art,
Her Eyes have so her Bosome drown’d,
Only to soften near her Heart
A place to fix another Wound.
And, while vain Pomp does her restrain
Within her solitary Bowr,
She courts her self in am’rous Rain;
Her self both Danae and the Showr.
Nay others, bolder, hence esteem
Joy now so much her Master grown,
That whatsoever does but seem
Like Grief, is from her Windows thrown.
Nor that she payes, while she survives,
To her dead Love this Tribute due;
But casts abroad these Donatives,
At the installing of a new.
How wide they dream! The Indian Slaves
That sink for Pearl through Seas profound,
Would find her Tears yet deeper Waves
And not of one the bottom sound.
I yet my silent Judgment keep,
Disputing not what they believe:
But sure as oft as Women weep,
It is to be suppos’d they grieve.
The Nymph Complaining For The Death Of Her Faun
The wanton Troopers riding by
Have shot my Faun and it will dye.
Ungentle men! They cannot thrive
To kill thee. Thou neer didst alive
Them any harm: alas nor cou’d
Thy death yet do them any good.
I’me sure I never wisht them ill;
Nor do I for all this; nor will:
But, if my simple Pray’rs may yet
Prevail with Heaven to forget
Thy murder, I will Joyn my Tears
Rather then fail. But, O my fears!
It cannot dye so. Heavens King
Keeps register of every thing:
And nothing may we use in vain.
Ev’n Beasts must be with justice slain;
Else Men are made their Deodands.
Though they should wash their guilty hands
In this warm life blood, which doth part
From thine, and wound me to the Heart,
Yet could they not be clean: their Stain
Is dy’d in such a Purple Grain.
There is not such another in
The World, to offer for their Sin,
Unconstant Sylvio, when yet
I had not found him counterfeit,
One morning (I remember well)
Ty’d in this silver Chain and Bell,
Gave it to me: nay and I know
What he said then; I’m sure I do.
Said He, look how your Huntsman here
Hath taught a Faun to hunt his Dear.
But Sylvio soon had me beguil’d.
This waxed tame; while he grew wild,
And quite regardless of my Smart,
Left me his Faun, but took his Heart.
Thenceforth I set my self to play
My solitary time away,
With this: and very well content,
Could so mine idle Life have spent.
For it was full of sport; and light
Of foot, and heart; and did invite,
Me to its game: it seem’d to bless
Its self in me. How could I less
Than love it? O I cannot be
Unkind, t’ a Beast that loveth me.
Had it liv’d long, I do not know
Whether it too might have done so
As Sylvio did: his Gifts might be
Perhaps as false or more than he.
But I am sure, for ought that I
Could in so short a time espie,
Thy Love was far more better then
The love of false and cruel men.
With sweetest milk, and sugar, first
I it at mine own fingers nurst.
And as it grew, so every day
It wax’d more white and sweet than they.
It had so sweet a Breath! And oft
I blusht to see its foot more soft,
And white, (shall I say then my hand?)
Nay any Ladies of the Land.
It is a wond’rous thing, how fleet
Twas on those little silver feet.
With what a pretty skipping grace,
It oft would callenge me the Race:
And when ‘thad left me far away,
‘T would stay, and run again, and stay.
For it was nimbler much than Hindes;
And trod, as on the four Winds.
I have a Garden of my own,
But so with Roses over grown,
And Lillies, that you would it guess
To be a little Wilderness.
And all the Spring time of the year
It onely loved to be there.
Among the beds of Lillyes, I
Have sought it oft, where it should lye;
Yet could not, till it self would rise,
Find it, although before mine Eyes.
For, in the flaxen Lillies shade,
It like a bank of Lillies laid.
Upon the Roses it would feed,
Until its lips ev’n seem’d to bleed:
And then to me ‘twould boldly trip,
And print those Roses on my Lip.
But all its chief delight was still
On Roses thus its self to fill:
And its pure virgin Limbs to fold
In whitest sheets of Lillies cold.
Had it liv’d long, it would have been
Lillies without, Roses within.
O help! O help! I see it faint:
And dye as calmely as a Saint.
See how it weeps. The Tears do come
Sad, slowly dropping like a Gumme.
So weeps the wounded Balsome: so
The holy Frankincense doth flow.
The brotherless Heliades
Melt in such Amber Tears as these.
I in a golden Vial will
Keep these two crystal Tears; and fill
It till it do o’reflow with mine;
Then place it in Diana’s Shrine.
Now my sweet Faun is vanish’d to
Whether the Swans and Turtles go
In fair Elizium to endure,
With milk-white Lambs, and Ermins pure.
O do not run too fast: for I
Will but bespeak thy Grave, and dye.
First my unhappy Statue shall
Be cut in Marble; and withal,
Let it be weeping too: but there
Th’ Engraver sure his Art may spare;
For I so truly thee bemoane,
That I shall weep though I be Stone:
Until my Tears, still dropping, wear
My breast, themselves engraving there.
There at my feet shalt thou be laid,
Of purest Alabaster made:
For I would have thine Image be
White as I can, though not as Thee.
Daphnis And Chloe
Daphnis must from Chloe part:
Now is come the dismal Hour
That must all his Hopes devour,
All his Labour, all his Art.
Nature, her own Sexes foe,
Long had taught her to be coy:
But she neither knew t’ enjoy,
Nor yet let her Lover go.
But, with this sad News surpriz’d,
Soon she let that Niceness fall;
And would gladly yield to all,
So it had his stay compriz’d.
Nature so her self does use
To lay by her wonted State,
Left the World should separate;
Sudden Parting closer glews.
He, well read in all the wayes
By which men their Siege maintain,
Knew not that the Fort to gain
Better ’twas the siege to raise.
But he came so full possest
With the Grief of Parting thence,
That he had not so much Sence
As to see he might be blest.
Till Love in her Language breath’d
Words she never spake before;
But then Legacies no more
To a dying Man bequeath’d.
For, Alas, the time was spent,
Now the latest minut’s run
When poor Daphnis is undone,
Between Joy and Sorrow rent.
At that Why, that Stay my Dear,
His disorder’d Locks he tare;
And with rouling Eyes did glare,
And his cruel Fate forswear.
As the Soul of one scarce dead,
With the shrieks of Friends aghast,
Looks distracted back in hast,
And then streight again is fled.
So did wretched Daphnis look,
Frighting her he loved most.
At the last, this Lovers Ghost
Thus his Leave resolved took.
Are my Hell and Heaven Joyn’d
More to torture him that dies?
Could departure not suffice,
But that you must then grow kind?
Ah my Chloe how have I
Such a wretched minute found,
When thy Favours should me wound
More than all thy Cruelty?
So to the condemned Wight
The delicious Cup we fill;
And allow him all he will,
For his last and short Delight.
But I will not now begin
Such a Debt unto my Foe;
Nor to my Departure owe
What my Presence could not win.
Absence is too much alone:
Better ’tis to go in peace,
Than my Losses to increase
By a late Fruition.
Why should I enrich my Fate?
‘Tis a Vanity to wear,
For my Executioner,
Jewels of so high a rate.
Rather I away will pine
In a manly stubborness
Than be fatted up express
For the Canibal to dine.
Whilst this grief does thee disarm,
All th’ Enjoyment of our Love
But the ravishment would prove
Of a Body dead while warm.
And I parting should appear
Like the Gourmand Hebrew dead,
While he Quailes and Manna fed,
And does through the Desert err.
Or the Witch that midnight wakes
For the Fern, whose magick Weed
In one minute casts the Seed.
And invisible him makes.
Gentler times for Love are ment:
Who for parting pleasure strain
Gather Roses in the rain,
Wet themselves and spoil their Sent.
Farewel therefore all the fruit
Which I could from Love receive:
Joy will not with Sorrow weave,
Nor will I this Grief pollute.
Fate I come, as dark, as sad,
As thy Malice could desire;
Yet bring with me all the Fire
That Love in his Torches had.
At these words away he broke;
As who long has praying ly’n,
To his Heads-man makes the Sign,
And receives the parting stroke.
But hence Virgins all beware.
Last night he with Phlogis slept;
This night for Dorinda kept;
And but rid to take the Air.
Yet he does himself excuse;
Nor indeed without a Cause.
For, according to the Lawes,
Why did Chloe once refuse?
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.
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.
I sup above, and cannot stay
To bait so long upon the way.
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.
My gentler Rest is on a Thought,
Conscious of doing what I ought.
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.
A Soul that knowes not to presume
Is Heaven’s and its own perfume.
Every thing does seem to vie
Which should first attract thine Eye:
But since none deserves that grace,
In this Crystal view thy face.
When the Creator’s skill is priz’d,
The rest is all but Earth disguis’d.
Heark how Musick then prepares
For thy Stay these charming Aires ;
Which the posting Winds recall,
And suspend the Rivers Fall.
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.
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.
All this fair, and cost, and sweet,
Which scatteringly doth shine,
Shall within one Beauty meet,
And she be only thine.
If things of Sight such Heavens be,
What Heavens are those we cannot see?
Where so e’re thy Foot shall go
The minted Gold shall lie;
Till thou purchase all below,
And want new Worlds to buy.
Wer’t not a price who ‘ld value Gold?
And that’s worth nought that can be sold.
Wilt thou all the Glory have
That War or Peace commend?
Half the World shall be thy Slave
The other half thy Friend.
What Friends, if to my self untrue?
What Slaves, unless I captive you?
Thou shalt know each hidden Cause;
And see the future Time:
Try what depth the Centre draws;
And then to Heaven climb.
None thither mounts by the degree
Of Knowledge, but Humility.
Triumph, triumph, victorious Soul;
The World has not one Pleasure more:
The rest does lie beyond the pole,
And is thine everlasting Store.
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.
Damon The Mower
Heark how the Mower Damon Sung,
With love of Juliana stung!
While ev’ry thing did seem to paint
The Scene more fit for his complaint.
Like her fair Eyes the day was fair;
But scorching like his am’rous Care.
Sharp like his Sythe his Sorrow was,
And wither’d like his Hopes the Grass.
Oh what unusual Heats are here,
Which thus our Sun-burn’d Meadows sear!
The Grass-hopper its pipe gives ore;
And hamstring’d Frogs can dance no more.
But in the brook the green Frog wades;
And Grass-hoppers seek out the shades.
Only the Snake, that kept within,
Now glitters in its second skin.
This heat the Sun could never raise,
Nor Dog-star so inflame’s the dayes.
It from an higher Beauty grow’th,
Which burns the Fields and Mower both:
Which made the Dog, and makes the Sun
Hotter then his own Phaeton.
Not July causeth these Extremes,
But Juliana’s scorching beams.
Tell me where I may pass the Fires
Of the hot day, or hot desires.
To what cool Cave shall I descend,
Or to what gelid Fountain bend?
Alas! I look for Ease in vain,
When Remedies themselves complain.
No moisture but my Tears do rest,
Nor Cold but in her Icy Breast.
How long wilt Thou, fair Shepheardess,
Esteem me, and my Presents less?
To Thee the harmless Snake I bring,
Disarmed of its teeth and sting.
To Thee Chameleons changing-hue,
And Oak leaves tipt with hony due.
Yet Thou ungrateful hast not sought
Nor what they are, nor who them brought.
I am the Mower Damon, known
Through all the Meadows I have mown.
On me the Morn her dew distills
Before her darling Daffadils.
And, if at Noon my toil me heat,
The Sun himself licks off my Sweat.
While, going home, the Ev’ning sweet
In cowslip-water bathes my feet.
What, though the piping Shepherd stock
The plains with an unnum’red Flock,
This Sithe of mine discovers wide
More ground then all his Sheep do hide.
With this the golden fleece I shear
Of all these Closes ev’ry Year.
And though in Wooll more poor then they,
Yet am I richer far in Hay.
Nor am I so deform’d to sight,
If in my Sithe I looked right;
In which I see my Picture done,
As in a crescent Moon the Sun.
The deathless Fairyes take me oft
To lead them in their Danses soft:
And, when I tune my self to sing,
About me they contract their Ring.
How happy might I still have mow’d,
Had not Love here his Thistles sow’d!
But now I all the day complain,
Joyning my Labour to my Pain;
And with my Sythe cut down the Grass,
Yet still my Grief is where it was:
But, when the Iron blunter grows,
Sighing I whet my Sythe and Woes.
While thus he threw his Elbow round,
Depopulating all the Ground,
And, with his whistling Sythe, does cut
Each stroke between the Earth and Root,
The edged Stele by careless chance
Did into his own Ankle glance;
And there among the Grass fell down,
By his own Sythe, the Mower mown.
Alas! said He, these hurts are slight
To those that dye by Loves despight.
With Shepherds-purse, and Clowns-all-heal,
The Blood I stanch, and Wound I seal.
Only for him no Cure is found,
Whom Julianas Eyes do wound.
‘Tis death alone that this must do:
For Death thou art a Mower too.
The Mower’s 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.
The Fair Singer
To make a final conquest of all me,
Love did compose so sweet an Enemy,
In whom both Beauties to my death agree,
Joyning themselves in fatal Harmony;
That while she with her Eyes my Heart does bind,
She with her Voice might captivate my Mind.
I could have fled from One but singly fair:
My dis-intangled Soul it self might save,
Breaking the curled trammels of her hair.
But how should I avoid to be her Slave,
Whose subtile Art invisibly can wreath
My Fetters of the very Air I breath?
It had been easie fighting in some plain,
Where Victory might hang in equal choice.
But all resistance against her is vain,
Who has th’ advantage both of Eyes and Voice.
And all my Forces needs must be undone,
She having gained both the Wind and Sun.
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.
How vainly men themselves amaze
To win the Palm, the Oke, or Bayes;
And their uncessant Labours see
Crown’d from some single Herb or Tree,
Whose short and narrow verged Shade
Does prudently their Toyles upbraid;
While all Flow’rs and all Trees do close
To weave the Garlands of repose.
Fair quiet, have I found thee here,
And Innocence thy Sister dear!
Mistaken long, I sought you then
In busie Companies of Men.
Your sacred Plants, if here below,
Only among the Plants will grow.
Society is all but rude,
To this delicious Solitude.
No white nor red was ever seen
So am’rous as this lovely green.
Fond Lovers, cruel as their Flame,
Cut in these Trees their Mistress name.
Little, Alas, they know, or heed,
How far these Beauties Hers exceed!
Fair Trees! where s’eer your barkes I wound,
No Name shall but your own be found.
When we have run our Passions heat,
Love hither makes his best retreat.
The Gods, that mortal Beauty chase,
Still in a Tree did end their race.
Apollo hunted Daphne so,
Only that She might Laurel grow.
And Pan did after Syrinx speed,
Not as a Nymph, but for a Reed.
What wond’rous Life in this I lead!
Ripe Apples drop about my head;
The Luscious Clusters of the Vine
Upon my Mouth do crush their Wine;
The Nectaren, and curious Peach,
Into my hands themselves do reach;
Stumbling on Melons, as I pass,
Insnar’d with Flow’rs, I fall on Grass.
Mean while the Mind, from pleasure less,
Withdraws into its happiness:
The Mind, that Ocean where each kind
Does streight its own resemblance find;
Yet it creates, transcending these,
Far other Worlds, and other Seas;
Annihilating all that’s made
To a green Thought in a green Shade.
Here at the Fountains sliding foot,
Or at some Fruit-trees mossy root,
Casting the Bodies Vest aside,
My Soul into the boughs does glide:
There like a Bird it sits, and sings,
Then whets, and combs its silver Wings;
And, till prepar’d for longer flight,
Waves in its Plumes the various Light.
Such was that happy Garden-state,
While Man there walk’d without a Mate:
After a Place so pure, and sweet,
What other Help could yet be meet!
But ’twas beyond a Mortal’s share
To wander solitary there:
Two Paradises ’twere in one
To live in Paradise alone.
How well the skilful Gardner drew
Of flow’rs and herbes this Dial new;
Where from above the milder Sun
Does through a fragrant Zodiack run;
And, as it works, th’ industrious Bee
Computes its time as well as we. 70
How could such sweet and wholsome Hours
Be reckon’d but with herbs and flow’rs!