Poems, by Andrew Marvell

Upon Appleton House

To my Lord Fairfax
i

Within this sober Frame expect

Work of no Forrain Architect;

That unto Caves the Quarries drew,

And Forrests did to Pastures hew;

Who of his great Design in pain

Did for a Model vault his Brain,

Whose Columnes should so high be rais’d

To arch the Brows that on them gaz’d.

ii

Why should of all things Man unrul’d

Such unproportion’d dwellings build?

The Beasts are by their Denns exprest:

And Birds contrive an equal Nest;

The low roof’d Tortoises do dwell

In cases fit of Tortoise-shell:

No Creature loves an empty space;

Their Bodies measure out their Place.

iii

But He, superfluously spread,

Demands more room alive then dead.

And in his hollow Palace goes

Where Winds as he themselves may lose.

What need of all this Marble Crust

T’impark the wanton Mose of Dust,

That thinks by Breadth the World t’unite

Though the first Builders fail’d in Height?

iv

But all things are composed here

Like Nature, orderly and near:

In which we the Dimensions find

Of that more sober Age and Mind,

When larger sized Men did stoop

To enter at a narrow loop;

As practising, in doors so strait,

To strain themselves through Heavens Gate.

v

And surely when the after Age

Shall hither come in Pilgrimage,

These sacred Places to adore,

By Vere and Fairfax trod before,

Men will dispute how their Extent

Within such dwarfish Confines went:

And some will smile at this, as well

As Romulus his Bee-like Cell.

vi

Humility alone designs

Those short but admirable Lines,

By which, ungirt and unconstrain’d,

Things greater are in less contain’d.

Let others vainly strive t’immure

The Circle in the Quadrature!

These holy Mathematicks can

In ev’ry Figure equal Man.

vii

Yet thus the laden House does sweat,

And scarce indures the Master great:

But where he comes the swelling Hall

Stirs, and the Square grows Spherical;

More by his Magnitude distrest,

Than he is by its straitness prest:

And too officiously it slights

That in it self which him delights.

viii

So Honour better Lowness bears,

Then That unwonted Greatness wears

Height with a certain Grace does bend,

But low Things clownishly ascend.

And yet what needs there here Excuse,

Where ev’ry Thing does answer Use?

Where neatness nothing can condemn,

Nor Pride invent what to contemn?

ix

A Stately Frontispice Of Poor

Adorns without the open Door:

Nor less the Rooms within commends

Daily new Furniture Of Friends.

The House was built upon the Place

Only as for a Mark Of Grace;

And for an Inn to entertain

Its Lord a while, but not remain.

x

Him Bishops-Hill, or Denton may,

Or Bilbrough, better hold than they:

But Nature here hath been so free

As if she said leave this to me.

Art would more neatly have defac’d

What she had laid so sweetly wast;

In fragrant Gardens, shaddy Woods,

Deep Meadows, and transparent Floods.

xi

While with slow Eyes we these survey,

And on each pleasant footstep stay,

We opportunly may relate

The progress of this Houses Fate.

A Nunnery first gave it birth.

For Virgin Buildings oft brought forth.

And all that Neighbour-Ruine shows

The Quarries whence this dwelling rose.

xii

Near to this gloomy Cloysters Gates

There dwelt the blooming Virgin Thwates,

Fair beyond Measure, and an Heir

Which might Deformity make fair.

And oft She spent the Summer Suns

Discoursing with the Suttle Nunns.

Whence in these Words one to her weav’d,

(As ’twere by Chance) Thoughts long conceiv’d.

xiii

“Within this holy leisure we

Live innocently as you see.

these Walls restrain the World without,

But hedge our Liberty about.

These Bars inclose the wider Den

Of those wild Creatures, called Men.

The Cloyster outward shuts its Gates,

And, from us, locks on them the Grates.

xiv

“Here we, in shining Armour white,

Like Virgin-Amazons do fight.

And our chast Lamps we hourly trim,

Lest the great Bridegroom find them dim.

Our Orient Breaths perfumed are

With insense of incessant Pray’r.

And Holy-water of our Tears

Most strangly our Complexion clears.

xv

“Not Tears of Grief; but such as those

With which calm Pleasure overflows;

Or Pity, when we look on you

That live without this happy Vow.

How should we grieve that must be seen

Each one a Spouse, and each a Queen;

And can in Heaven hence behold

Our brighter Robes and Crowns of Gold?

xvi

“When we have prayed all our Beads,

Some One the holy Legend reads;

While all the rest with Needles paint

The Face and Graces of the Saint.

But what the Linnen can’t receive

They in their Lives do interweave.

This Work the Saints best represents;

That serves for Altar’s Ornaments.

xvii

“But much it to our work would add

If here your hand, your Face we had:

By it we would our Lady touch;

Yet thus She you resembles much.

Some of your Features, as we sow’d,

Through ev’ry Shrine should be bestow’d.

And in one Beauty we would take

Enough a thousand Saints to make.

xviii

“And (for I dare not quench the Fire

That me does for your good inspire)

’Twere Sacriledge a Man t’admit

To holy things, for Heaven fit.

I see the Angels in a Crown

On you the Lillies show’ring down:

And round about your Glory breaks,

That something more than humane speaks.

xix

“All Beauty, when at such a height,

Is so already consecrate.

Fairfax I know; and long ere this

Have mark’d the Youth, and what he is.

But can he such a Rival seem

For whom you Heav’n should disesteem?

Ah, no! and ’twould more Honour prove

He your Devoto were, than Love.

xx

“Here live beloved, and obey’d:

Each one your Sister, each your Maid.

And, if our Rule seem strictly pend,

The Rule it self to you shall bend.

Our Abbess too, now far in Age,

Doth your succession near presage.

How soft the yoke on us would lye,

Might such fair Hands as yours it tye!

xxi

“Your voice, the sweetest of the Quire,

Shall draw Heav’n nearer, raise us higher.

And your Example, if our Head,

Will soon us to perfection lead.

Those Virtues to us all so dear,

Will straight grow Sanctity when here:

And that, once sprung, increase so fast

Till Miracles it work at last.

xxii

“Nor is our Order yet so nice,

Delight to banish as a Vice.

Here Pleasure Piety doth meet;

One perfecting the other Sweet.

So through the mortal fruit we boyl

The Sugars uncorrupting Oyl:

And that which perisht while we pull,

Is thus preserved clear and full.

xxiii

“For such indeed are all our Arts;

Still handling Natures finest Parts.

Flow’rs dress the Altars; for the Clothes,

The Sea-born Amber we compose;

Balms for the griv’d we draw; and pasts

We mold, as Baits for curious tasts.

What need is here of Man? unless

These as sweet Sins we should confess.

xxiv

“Each Night among us to your side

Appoint a fresh and Virgin Bride;

Whom if Our Lord at midnight find,

Yet Neither should be left behind.

Where you may lye as chast in Bed,

As Pearls together billeted.

All Night embracing Arm in Arm,

Like Chrystal pure with Cotton warm.

xxv

“But what is this to all the store

Of Joys you see, and may make more!

Try but a while, if you be wise:

The Tryal neither Costs, nor Tyes.”

Now Fairfax seek her promis’d faith:

Religion that dispensed hath;

Which She hence forward does begin;

The Nuns smooth Tongue has suckt her in.

xxvi

Oft, though he knew it was in vain,

Yet would he valiantly complain.

“Is this that Sanctity so great,

An Art by which you finly’r cheat

Hypocrite Witches, hence avant,

Who though in prison yet inchant!

Death only can such Theeves make fast,

As rob though in the Dungeon cast.

xxvii

“Were there but, when this House was made,

One Stone that a just Hand had laid,

It must have fall’n upon her Head

Who first Thee from thy Faith misled.

And yet, how well soever ment,

With them ’twould soon grow fraudulent

For like themselves they alter all,

And vice infects the very Wall.

xxviii

“But sure those Buildings last not long,

Founded by Folly, kept by Wrong.

I know what Fruit their Gardens yield,

When they it think by Night conceal’d.

Fly from their Vices. ’Tis thy ‘state,

Not Thee, that they would consecrate.

Fly from their Ruine. How I fear

Though guiltless lest thou perish there.”

xxix

What should he do? He would respect

Religion, but not Right neglect:

For first Religion taught him Right,

And dazled not but clear’d his sight.

Sometimes resolv’d his Sword he draws,

But reverenceth then the Laws:

For Justice still that Courage led;

First from a Judge, then Souldier bred.

xxx

Small Honour would be in the Storm.

The Court him grants the lawful Form;

Which licens’d either Peace or Force,

To hinder the unjust Divorce.

Yet still the Nuns his Right debar’d,

Standing upon their holy Guard.

Ill-counsell’d Women, do you know

Whom you resist, or what you do?

xxxi

Is not this he whose Offspring fierce

Shall fight through all the Universe;

And with successive Valour try

France, Poland, either Germany;

Till one, as long since prophecy’d,

His Horse through conquer’d Britain ride?

Yet, against Fate, his Spouse they kept;

And the great Race would intercept.

xxxii

Some to the Breach against their Foes

Their Wooden Saints in vain oppose

Another bolder stands at push

With their old Holy-Water Brush.

While the disjointed Abbess threads

The gingling Chain-shot of her Beads.

But their lowd’st Cannon were their Lungs;

And sharpest Weapons were their Tongues.

xxxiii

But, waving these aside like Flyes,

Young Fairfax through the Wall does rise.

Then th’ unfrequented Vault appear’d,

And superstitions vainly fear’d.

The Relicks false were set to view;

Only the Jewels there were true.

But truly bright and holy Thwaites

That weeping at the Altar waites.

xxxiv

But the glad Youth away her bears,

And to the Nuns bequeaths her Tears:

Who guiltily their Prize bemoan,

Like Gipsies that a Child hath stoln.

Thenceforth (as when th’ Inchantment ends

The Castle vanishes or rends)

The wasting Cloister with the rest

Was in one instant dispossest.

xxxv

At the demolishing, this Seat

To Fairfax fell as by Escheat.

And what both Nuns and Founders will’d

’Tis likely better thus fulfill’d,

For if the Virgin prov’d not theirs,

The Cloyster yet remained hers.

Though many a Nun there made her vow,

’Twas no Religious-House till now.

xxxvi

From that blest Bed the Heroe came,

Whom France and Poland yet does fame:

Who, when retired here to Peace,

His warlike Studies could not cease;

But laid these Gardens out in sport

In the just Figure of a Fort;

And with five Bastions it did fence,

As aiming one for ev’ry Sense.

xxxvii

When in the East the Morning Ray

Hangs out the Colours of the Day,

The Bee through these known Allies hums,

Beating the Dian with its Drumms.

Then Flow’rs their drowsie Eylids raise,

Their Silken Ensigns each displayes,

And dries its Pan yet dank with Dew,

And fills its Flask with Odours new.

xxxviii

These, as their Governour goes by,

In fragrant Vollyes they let fly;

And to salute their Governess

Again as great a charge they press:

None for the Virgin Nymph; for She

Seems with the Flow’rs a Flow’r to be.

And think so still! though not compare

With Breath so sweet, or Cheek so faire.

xxxix

Well shot ye Firemen! Oh how sweet,

And round your equal Fires do meet;

Whose shrill report no Ear can tell,

But Ecchoes to the Eye and smell.

See how the Flow’rs, as at Parade,

Under their Colours stand displaid:

Each Regiment in order grows,

That of the Tulip, Pinke, and Rose.

xl

But when the vigilant Patroul

Of Stars walks round about the Pole,

Their Leaves, that to the stalks are curl’d,

Seem to their Staves the Ensigns furl’d.

Then in some Flow’rs beloved Hut

Each Bee as Sentinel is shut;

And sleeps so too: but, if once stir’d,

She runs you through, nor askes the Word.

xli

Oh Thou, that dear and happy Isle

The Garden of the World ere while,

Thou Paradise of four Seas,

Which Heaven planted us to please,

But, to exclude the World, did guard

With watry if not flaming Sword;

What luckless Apple did we tast,

To make us Mortal, and Thee Waste.

xlii

Unhappy! shall we never more

That sweet Militia restore,

When Gardens only had their Towrs,

And all the Garrisons were Flowrs,

When Roses only Arms might bear,

And Men did rosie Garlands wear?

Tulips, in several Colours barr’d,

Were then the Switzers of our Guard.

xliii

The Gardiner had the Souldiers place,

And his more gentle Forts did trace.

The Nursery of all things green

Was then the only Magazeen.

The Winter Quarters were the Stoves,

Where he the tender Plants removes.

But War all this doth overgrow:

We Ord’nance Plant and Powder sow.

xliv

And yet their walks one on the Sod

Who, had it pleased him and God,

Might once have made our Gardens spring

Fresh as his own and flourishing.

But he preferr’d to the Cinque Ports

These five imaginary Forts:

And, in those half-dry Trenches, spann’d

Pow’r which the Ocean might command.

xlv

For he did, with his utmost Skill,

Ambition weed, but Conscience till.

Conscience, that Heaven-nursed Plant,

Which most our Earthly Gardens want.

A prickling leaf it bears, and such

As that which shrinks at ev’ry touch;

But Flow’rs eternal, and divine,

That in the Crowns of Saints do shine.

xlvi

The sight does from these Bastions ply,

Th’ invisible Artilery;

And at proud Cawood-Castle seems

To point the Battery of its Beams.

As if it quarrell’d in the Seat

Th’ Ambition of its Prelate great.

But ore the Meads below it plays,

Or innocently seems to gaze.

xlvii

And now to the Abbyss I pass

Of that unfathomable Grass,

Where Men like Grashoppers appear,

But Grashoppers are Gyants there:

They, in there squeking Laugh, contemn

Us as we walk more low then them:

And, from the Precipices tall

Of the green spir’s, to us do call.

xlviii

To see Men through this Meadow Dive,

We wonder how they rise alive.

As, under Water, none does know

Whether he fall through it or go.

But, as the Marriners that sound,

And show upon their Lead the Ground,

They bring up Flow’rs so to be seen,

And prove they’ve at the Bottom been.

xlix

No Scene that turns with Engines strange

Does oftner then these Meadows change,

For when the Sun the Grass hath vext,

The tawny Mowers enter next;

Who seem like Israelites to be,

Walking on foot through a green Sea.

To them the Grassy Deeps divide,

And crowd a Lane to either Side.

l

With whistling Sithe, and Elbow strong,

These Massacre the Grass along:

While one, unknowing, carves the Rail,

Whose yet unfeather’d Quils her fail.

The Edge all bloody from its Breast

He draws, and does his stroke detest;

Fearing the Flesh untimely mow’d

To him a Fate as black forebode.

li

But bloody Thestylis, that waites

To bring the mowing Camp their Cates,

Greedy as Kites has trust it up,

And forthwith means on it to sup:

When on another quick She lights,

And cryes, he call’d us Israelites;

But now, to make his saying true,

Rails rain for Quails, for Manna Dew.

lii

Unhappy Birds! what does it boot

To build below the Grasses Root;

When Lowness is unsafe as Hight,

And Chance o’retakes what scapeth spight?

And now your Orphan Parents Call

Sounds your untimely Funeral.

Death-Trumpets creak in such a Note,

And ’tis the Sourdine in their Throat.

liii

Or sooner hatch or higher build:

The Mower now commands the Field;

In whose new Traverse seemeth wrought

A Camp of Battail newly fought:

Where, as the Meads with Hay, the Plain

Lyes quilted ore with Bodies slain:

The Women that with forks it filing,

Do represent the Pillaging.

liv

And now the careless Victors play,

Dancing the Triumphs of the Hay;

Where every Mowers wholesome Heat

Smells like an Alexanders Sweat.

Their Females fragrant as the Mead

Which they in Fairy Circles tread:

When at their Dances End they kiss,

Their new-made Hay not sweeter is.

lv

When after this ’tis pil’d in Cocks,

Like a calm Sea it shews the Rocks:

We wondring in the River near

How Boats among them safely steer.

Or, like the Desert Memphis Sand,

Short Pyramids of Hay do stand.

And such the Roman Camps do rise

In Hills for Soldiers Obsequies.

lvi

This Scene again withdrawing brings

A new and empty Face of things;

A levell’d space, as smooth and plain,

As Clothes for Lilly strecht to stain.

The World when first created sure

Was such a Table rase and pure.

Or rather such is the Toril

Ere the Bulls enter at Madril.

lvii

For to this naked equal Flat,

Which Levellers take Pattern at,

The Villagers in common chase

Their Cattle, which it closer rase;

And what below the Sith increast

Is pincht yet nearer by the Breast.

Such, in the painted World, appear’d

Davenant with th’Universal Heard.

lviii

They seem within the polisht Grass

A landskip drawen in Looking-Glass.

And shrunk in the huge Pasture show

As spots, so shap’d, on Faces do.

Such Fleas, ere they approach the Eye,

In Multiplyiug Glasses lye.

They feed so wide, so slowly move,

As Constellations do above.

lix

Then, to conclude these pleasant Acts,

Denton sets ope its Cataracts;

And makes the Meadow truly be

(What it but seem’d before) a Sea.

For, jealous of its Lords long stay,

It try’s t’invite him thus away.

The River in it self is drown’d,

And Isl’s th’ astonish Cattle round.

lx

Let others tell the Paradox,

How Eels now bellow in the Ox;

How Horses at their Tails do kick,

Turn’d as they hang to Leeches quick;

How Boats can over Bridges sail;

And Fishes do the Stables scale.

How Salmons trespassing are found;

And Pikes are taken in the Pound.

lxi

But I, retiring from the Flood,

Take Sanctuary in the Wood;

And, while it lasts, my self imbark

In this yet green, yet growing Ark;

Where the first Carpenter might best

Fit Timber for his Keel have Prest.

And where all Creatures might have shares,

Although in Armies, not in Paires.

lxii

The double Wood of ancient Stocks

Link’d in so thick, an Union locks,

It like two Pedigrees appears,

On one hand Fairfax, th’ other Veres:

Of whom though many fell in War,

Yet more to Heaven shooting are:

And, as they Natures Cradle deckt,

Will in green Age her Hearse expect.

lxiii

When first the Eye this Forrest sees

It seems indeed as Wood not Trees:

As if their Neighbourhood so old

To one great Trunk them all did mold.

There the huge Bulk takes place, as ment

To thrust up a Fifth Element;

And stretches still so closely wedg’d

As if the Night within were hedg’d.

lxiv

Dark all without it knits; within

It opens passable and thin;

And in as loose an order grows,

As the Corinthean Porticoes.

The Arching Boughs unite between

The Columnes of the Temple green;

And underneath the winged Quires

Echo about their tuned Fires.

lxv

The Nightingale does here make choice

To sing the Tryals of her Voice.

Low Shrubs she sits in, and adorns

With Musick high the squatted Thorns.

But highest Oakes stoop down to hear,

And listning Elders prick the Ear.

The Thorn, lest it should hurt her, draws

Within the Skin its shrunken claws.

lxvi

But I have for my Musick found

A Sadder, yet more pleasing Sound:

The Stock-doves whose fair necks are grac’d

With Nuptial Rings their Ensigns chast;

Yet always, for some Cause unknown,

Sad pair unto the Elms they moan.

O why should such a Couple mourn,

That in so equal Flames do burn!

lxvii

Then as I carless on the Bed

Of gelid Straw-berryes do tread,

And through the Hazles thick espy

The hatching Thrastle’s shining Eye,

The Heron from the Ashes top,

The eldest of its young lets drop,

As if it Stork-like did pretend

That Tribute to its Lord to send.

lxviii

But most the Hewel’s wonders are,

Who here has the Holt-felsters care.

He walks still upright from the Root,

Meas’ring the Timber with his Foot;

And all the way, to keep it clean,

Doth from the Bark the Wood-moths glean.

He, with his Beak, examines well

Which fit to stand and which to fell.

lxix

The good he numbers up, and hacks;

As if he mark’d them with the Ax.

But where he, tinkling with his Beak,

Does find the hollow Oak to speak,

That for his building he designs,

And through the tainted Side he mines.

Who could have thought the tallest Oak

Should fall by such a feeble Stroke!

lxx

Nor would it, had the Tree not fed

A Traitor-worm, within it bred.

(As first our Flesh corrupt within

Tempts impotent and bashful Sin.)

And yet that Worm triumphs not long,

But serves to feed the Hewels young.

While the Oake seems to fall content,

Viewing the Treason’s Punishment.

lxxi

Thus I, easie Philosopher,

Among the Birds and Trees confer:

And little now to make me, wants

Or of the Fowles, or of the Plants.

Give me but Wings as they, and I

Streight floting on the Air shall fly:

Or turn me but, and you shall see

I was but an inverted Tree.

lxxii

Already I begin to call

In their most-learned Original:

And where I Language want,my Signs

The Bird upon the Bough divines;

And more attentive there doth sit

Then if She were with Lime-twigs knit.

No Leaf does tremble in the Wind

Which I returning cannot find.

lxxiii

Out of these scatter’d Sibyls Leaves

Strange Prophecies my Phancy weaves:

And in one History consumes,

Like Mexique-Paintings, all the Plumes.

What Rome, Greece, Palestine, ere said

I in this light Mosaick read.

Thrice happy he who, not mistook,

Hath read in Natures mystick Book.

lxxiv

And see how Chance’s better Wit

Could with a Mask my studies hit!

The Oak-Leaves me embroyder all,

Between which Caterpillars crawl:

And Ivy, with familiar trails,

Me licks, and clasps, and curles, and hales.

Under this antick Cope I move

Like some great Prelate of the Grove,

lxxv

Then, languishing with ease, I toss

On Pallets swoln of Velvet Moss;

While the Wind, cooling through the Boughs,

Flatters with Air my panting Brows.

Thanks for my Rest ye Mossy Banks,

And unto you cool Zephyr’s Thanks,

Who, as my Hair, my Thoughts too shed,

And winnow from the Chaff my Head.

lxxvi

How safe, methinks, and strong, behind

These Trees have I incamp’d my Mind;

Where Beauty, aiming at the Heart,

Bends in some Tree its useless Dart;

And where the World no certain Shot

Can make, or me it toucheth not.

But I on it securely play,

And gaul its Horsemen all the Day.

lxxvii

Bind me ye Woodbines in your ‘twines,

Curle me about ye gadding Vines,

And Oh so close your Circles lace,

That I may never leave this Place:

But, lest your Fetters prove too weak,

Ere I your Silken Bondage break,

Do you, O Brambles, chain me too,

And courteous Briars nail me though.

lxxviii

Here in the Morning tye my Chain,

Where the two Woods have made a Lane;

While, like a Guard on either side,

The Trees before their Lord divide;

This, like a long and equal Thread,

Betwixt two Labyrinths does lead.

But, where the Floods did lately drown,

There at the Ev’ning stake me down.

lxxix

For now the Waves are fal’n and dry’d,

And now the Meadows fresher dy’d;

Whose Grass, with moister colour dasht,

Seems as green Silks but newly washt.

No Serpent new nor Crocodile

Remains behind our little Nile;

Unless it self you will mistake,

Among these Meads the only Snake.

lxxx

See in what wanton harmless folds

It ev’ry where the Meadow holds;

And its yet muddy back doth lick,

Till as a Chrystal Mirrour slick;

Where all things gaze themselves, and doubt

If they be in it or without.

And for his shade which therein shines,

Narcissus like, the Sun too pines.

lxxxi

Oh what a Pleasure ’tis to hedge

My Temples here with heavy sedge;

Abandoning my lazy Side,

Stretcht as a Bank unto the Tide;

Or to suspend my sliding Foot

On the Osiers undermined Root,

And in its Branches tough to hang,

While at my Lines the Fishes twang!

lxxxii

But now away my Hooks, my Quills,

And Angles, idle Utensils.

The young Maria walks to night:

Hide trifling Youth thy Pleasures slight.

’Twere shame that such judicious Eyes

Should with such Toyes a Man surprize;

She that already is the Law

Of all her Sex, her Ages Aw.

lxxxiii

See how loose Nature, in respect

To her, it self doth recollect;

And every thing so whisht and fine,

Starts forth with to its Bonne Mine.

The Sun himself, of Her aware,

Seems to descend with greater Care,

And lest She see him go to Bed,

In blushing Clouds conceales his Head.

lxxxiv

So when the Shadows laid asleep

From underneath these Banks do creep,

And on the River as it flows

With Eben Shuts begin to close;

The modest Halcyon comes in sight,

Flying betwixt the Day and Night;

And such an horror calm and dumb,

Admiring Nature does benum.

lxxxv

The viscous Air, wheres’ere She fly,

Follows and sucks her Azure dy;

The gellying Stream compacts below,

If it might fix her shadow so;

The Stupid Fishes hang, as plain

As Flies in Chrystal overt’ane,

And Men the silent Scene assist,

Charm’d with the saphir-winged Mist.

lxxxvi

Maria such, and so doth hush

The World, and through the Ev’ning rush.

No new-born Comet such a Train

Draws through the Skie, nor Star new-slain.

For streight those giddy Rockets fail,

Which from the putrid Earth exhale,

But by her Flames, in Heaven try’d,

Nature is wholly vitrifi’d.

lxxxvii

’Tis She that to these Gardens gave

That wondrous Beauty which they have;

She streightness on the Woods bestows;

To Her the Meadow sweetness owes;

Nothing could make the River be

So Chrystal-pure but only She;

She yet more Pure, Sweet, Streight, and Fair,

Then Gardens, Woods, Meads, Rivers are.

lxxxviii

Therefore what first She on them spent,

They gratefully again present.

The Meadow Carpets where to tread;

The Garden Flow’rs to Crown Her Head;

And for a Glass the limpid Brook,

Where She may all her Beautyes look;

But, since She would not have them seen,

The Wood about her draws a Skreen.

lxxxix

For She, to higher Beauties rais’d,

Disdains to be for lesser prais’d.

She counts her Beauty to converse

In all the Languages as hers;

Not yet in those her self imployes

But for the Wisdome, not the Noyse;

Nor yet that Wisdome would affect,

But as ’tis Heavens Dialect.

xc

Blest Nymph! that couldst so soon prevent

Those Trains by Youth against thee meant;

Tears (watry Shot that pierce the Mind;)

And Sighs (Loves Cannon charg’d with Wind;)

True Praise (That breaks through all defence;)

And feign’d complying Innocence;

But knowing where this Ambush lay,

She scap’d the safe, but roughest Way.

xci

This ’tis to have been from the first

In a Domestick Heaven nurst,

Under the Discipline severe

Of Fairfax, and the starry Vere;

Where not one object can come nigh

But pure, and spotless as the Eye;

And Goodness doth it self intail

On Females, if there want a Male.

xcii

Go now fond Sex that on your Face

Do all your useless Study place,

Nor once at Vice your Brows dare knit

Lest the smooth Forehead wrinkled sit

Yet your own Face shall at you grin,

Thorough the Black-bag of your Skin;

When knowledge only could have fill’d

And Virtue all those Furows till’d.

xciii

Hence She with Graces more divine

Supplies beyond her Sex the Line;

And, like a sprig of Misleto,

On the Fairfacian Oak does grow;

Whence, for some universal good,

The Priest shall cut the sacred Bud;

While her glad Parents most rejoice,

And make their Destiny their Choice.

xciv

Mean time ye Fields, Springs, Bushes, Flow’rs,

Where yet She leads her studious Hours,

(Till Fate her worthily translates,

And find a Fairfax for our Thwaites)

Employ the means you have by Her,

And in your kind your selves preferr;

That, as all Virgins She preceds,

So you all Woods, Streams, Gardens, Meads.

xcv

For you Thessalian Tempe’s Seat

Shall now be scorn’d as obsolete;

Aranjuez, as less, disdain’d;

The Bel-Retiro as constrain’d;

But name not the Idalian Grove,

For ’twas the Seat of wanton Love;

Much less the Deads’ Elysian Fields,

Yet nor to them your Beauty yields.

xcvi

’Tis not, what once it was, the World;

But a rude heap together hurl’d;

All negligently overthrown,

Gulfes, Deserts, Precipices, Stone.

Your lesser World contains the same.

But in more decent Order tame;

You Heaven’s Center, Nature’s Lap.

And Paradice’s only Map.

xcvii

But now the Salmon-Fishers moist

Their Leathern Boats begin to hoist;

And, like Antipodes in Shoes,

Have shod their Heads in their Canoos.

How Tortoise like, but not so slow,

These rational Amphibii go?

Let’s in: for the dark Hemisphere

Does now like one of them appear.

Nunappleton. — Markham (Life of the Great Lord Fairfax) tells the story referred to in this poem. The Cistercian nunnery of Appleton, four miles from Steeton, was presided over in the time of the second Sir William Fairfax by the Lady Anna Langton. A young lady named Isabella Thwaites, who had been placed under her charge, met and became attached to William Fairfax; but the Abbess, who had other views for her ward, shut her up to prevent her meeting her lover. At length higher authorities intctfeted, and after a forcible entry into the nunnery, Isabella was released and married to Fairfax at Bolton Percy in 1518. She brought to her husband the estates of Denton and Askwith in Wharfedale, and other properly in York. Sir William Fairfax and his wife lived for many years, and Sir William was in favour with Henry VIII. In 1542 the Abbess, Anna Langton, by the irony of fate, had to surrender her nunnery to Thomas and Guy, sons of the lady whom she had imprisoned. They pulled down the religious buildings, and built a house out of some of the materials.

http://ebooks.adelaide.edu.au/m/marvell/andrew/poems/poem3.html

Last updated Friday, March 7, 2014 at 23:09