Poems, by Andrew Marvell

Doctori Ingelo,

Cum Domino Whitlocke ad Reginam Sueciae Delegato a Protectore, Residenti, Epistola.

[1654]

Quidfacis Arctoi charissime transfuga coeli,

Ingele, proh serò cognite, rapte citò?

Num satis Hybernum defendis pellibus Astrum,

Qui modo tam mollis nec bene firmus eras?

Quae Gentes Hominum, quae sit Natura Locorum,

Sint Homines, potius dic ibi sintne Loca?

Num gravis horrisono Polus obruit omnia lapsu,

Jungitur et praeceps Mundas utrâque nive?

An melius canis horrescit Campus Aristis,

Annuus Agricolis et redit Orbe labor?10

Incolit, ut fertur, saevam Gens mitior Oram,

Pace vigil, Bello strenua, justa Foro.

Quin ibi sunt Urbes, atque alta Palatia Regum,

Musarumque domus, et sua Templa Deo.

Nam regit Imperio populum Christina ferocem,

Et dare jura potest regia Virgo viris.

Utque trahit rigidum Magnes Aquilone Metallum,

Gaudet eam Soboles ferrea sponte sequi.

Dic quantum liceat fallaci credere Famae,

Invida num taceat plura, sonetve loquax.20

At, si vera fides, Mundi melioris ab ortu,

Saecula Christinae nulla tulere parem.

Ipsa licet redeat (nostri decus orbis) Eliza,

Qualis nostra tamen quantaque Eliza fuit.

Vidimus Effigiem, mistasque Coloribus Umbras:

Sic quoque Sceptripotens, sic quoque visa Dea.

Augustam decorant (raro concordia) frontem

Majestas et Amor, Forma Pudorque simul.

Ingens Virgineo spirat Gustavus in ore:

Agnoscas animos, fulmineumque Patrem.30

Nulla suo nituit tam lucida Stella sub Axe;

Non Ea quae meruit Crimine Nympha Polum.

Ah quoties pavidum demisit conscia Lumen,

Utque suae timuit Parrhasis Ora Deae!

Et, simulet falsâ ni Pictor imagine Vultus,

Delia tam similis nec fuit ipsa sibi.

Ni quod inornati Triviae sint forte Capilli,

Sollicitâ sed huic distribuantur Acu.

Scilicet ut nemo est illâ reverentior aequi;

Haud ipsas igitur fert sine Lege Comas.40

Gloria sylvarum pariter communis utrique

Est, et perpetuae Virginitatis Honos.

Sic quoque Nympharum supereminet Agmina collo,

Fertque Choros Cynthi per Juga, perque Nives.

Haud aliter pariles Ciliorum contrahit Arcus

Acribus ast Oculis tela subesse putes.

Luminibus dubites an straverit illa Sagittis

Quae fovet exuviis ardua colla Feram.

Alcides humeros coopertus pelle Nemaeâ

Haud ita labentis sustulit Orbis Onus.50

Heu quae Cervices subnectunt Pectora tales,

Frigidiora Gelu, candidiora Nive.

Caetera non licuit, sed vix ea tota, videre;

Nam clausi rigido stant Adamante Sinus.

Seu Chlamys Artifici nimium succurrerit auso,

Sicque imperfectum fugerit impar Opus:

Sive tribus spernat Victrix certare Deabus,

Et pretium formae nec spoliata ferat.

Junonis properans et clara Trophaea Minervae;

Mollia nam Veneris praemia nosse piget.60

Hinc neque consuluit fugitivae prodiga Formoe,

Nec timuit seris invigilasse Libris.

Insomnem quoties Nymphae monuere sequaces

Decedet roseis heu color ille Genis.

Jamque vigil leni cessit Philomela sopori,

Omnibus et Sylvis conticuere Ferae.

Acrior illa tamen pergit, Curasque fatigat:

Tanti est doctorum volvere scripta Virum.

Et liciti quae sint moderamina discere Regni,

Quid fuerit, quid sit, noscere quicquid erit.70

Sic quod in ingenuas Gothus peccaverit Artes

Vindicat, et studiis expiat Una suis.

Exemplum dociles imitantur nobile Gentes,

Et geminis Infans imbuit Ora sonis.

Transpositos Suecis credas migrasse Latinos,

Carmine Romuleo sic strepit omne Nemus.

Upsala nec priscis impar memoratur Athenis,

Aegidaque et Currus hic sua Pallas habet.

Illinc O quales liceat sperasse Liquores,

Quum Dea praesideat fontibus ipsa sacris!80

Illic Lacte ruant illic et flumina Melle,

Fulvaque inauratam tingat Arena Salam.

Upsalides Musae nunc et majora canemus,

Quaeque mihi Famae non levis Aura tulit.

Creditur haud ulli Christus signasse suorum

Occultam gemma de meliore Notam.

Quemque tenet charo descriptum Nomine semper,

Non minus exculptum Pectore fida refert.

Sola haec virgineas depascit Flamma Medullas,

Et licito pergit solvere corda foco.90

Tu quoque Sanctorum fastos Christina sacrabis,

Unica nec Virgo Volsïniensis erit.

Discite nunc Reges (Majestas proxima caelo)

Discite proh magnos hinc coluisse Deos.

Ah pudeat Tantos puerilia fingers coepta,

Nugas nescio quas, et male quaerere Opes.

Acer Equo cunctos dum praeterit ille Britanno,

Et pecoris spolium nescit inerme sequi.

Ast Aquilam poscit Germano pellere Nido,

Deque Palatino Monte fugare Lupam.100

Vos etiam latos in praedam jungite Campos,

Impiaque arctatis cingite Lustra Plagis.

Victor Oliverus nudum Caput exerit Armis,

Ducere sive sequi nobile laetus Iter.

Qualis jam Senior Solymae Godfredus ad Arces,

Spina cui canis floruit alba Comis.

Et Lappos Christina potest et solvere Finnos,

Ultima quos Boreae carcere Claustra premunt.

Aeoliis quales Venti fremuere sub antris,

Et tentant Montis corripuisse moras.110

Hanc Dea si summa demiserit Arce procellam

Quam gravis Austriacis Hesperiisque cadat!

Omnia sed rediens olim narraveris Ipse;

Nec reditus spero tempora longa petit.

Non ibi lenta pigro stringuntur frigore Verba,

Solibus, et tandem Vere liquanda nove.

Sed radiis hyemem Regina potentior urit;

Haecque magis solvit, quam ligat illa Polum.

Dicitur et nostros moerens audisse Labores,

Fortis et ingenuam Gentis amasse Fidem.120

Oblatae Batavam nec paci commodat Aurem;

Nec versat Danos insidiosa dolos.

Sed pia festinat mutatis Foedera rebus,

Et Libertatem quae dominatur amat.

Digna cui Salomon meritos retulisset honores,

Et Saba concretum Thure cremasset Iter.

Hanc tua, sed melius, celebraverit, Ingele, Musa;

Et labor est vertrae debitus ille Lyrae.

Nos sine te frustra Thamisis saliceta subimus,

Sparsaque per steriles Turba vagamur Agros.130

Et male tentanti querulum respondet Avena:

Quin et Rogerio dissiluere fides.

Haec tamen absenti memores dictamus Amico,

Grataque speramus qualiacumque fore.

Nathaniel Ingelo, divine, and lover of music, was born about 1621, and died in 1683. He was chaplain and “rector chori” to Bulstrode Whitlocke, on his embassy to Sweden in November 1653. When Ingelo left Sweden Queen Christina gave him a gold medal, and in 1658, he received the Oxford degree of D.D. He was buried in Eton College Chapel. Among his writings were a religious romance, and a Latin poem which was set to music by Benjamin Rogers.

Marvell’s letter to Ingelo contains an encomium obviously intended for her eyes.

44. perque: As in Cooke; per in the Folio.

48. fovet: As in Grosart; foret in the Folio.

97. ille: As in Cooke; illa in the Folio.

Translation, by A. B Grosart:

A Letter to Doctor Ingelo, then with my Lord Whitlock, Ambassador from the Protector to the Queen of Sweden

How now, dear exile to the northern zone,

Too late known Ingelo, too early gone?

Canst thou with furs the wintry star defy —

So infirm here, so weak beneath our sky?

What race of men, what scen’ry do you share?

Or are there men, or is there scen’ry there?

Does the vast pole, harsh-wheeling, waste the land?

Does snow the swift world bind on either hand?

Or better, does the plain with whitening ears

Bristle, and Labour crown the circling years?10

A milder race, they say, holds these stern plains;

Industrious peace, stout arms, just judgment reigns;

There too are cities and a regal seat,

Haunts of the Muses, and God’s temples meet:

For great Christina rules the stalwart race —

A virgin queen o’er men the sceptre sways;

And as the magnet draws the rigid stone,

That iron race delights her force to own.

Is’t so: are we to trust deceitful Fame?

Brags she, or envious hints her silent blame?20

If all be true, then since the world was young,

No equal to Christina has been sung;

Though our own boast, Eliza, came again,

She were her match, and might her meed attain.

I saw her limn’d, with chequer’d light and shade —

E’en in her picture seem’d she she goddess-maid!

Upon her brow (rare harmony!) there move

Modesty, Beauty, Majesty and Love;

Gustavus breathes from out her maiden face,

You mark his dash and spirit in her grace.30

No star so bright upon its axis burn’d —

Not she who by her crime such prison earn’d:

Conscious, how oft her tearful light she veil’d,

As Parrhasis before the goddess quail’d!

And if the painter drew not from his mind,

Delia herself was not of rarer kind;

Except that Trivia’s hair was unbedeck’d,

While hers is comb’d in fashion circumspect:

Forsooth, none lives so reverent of the right,

And e’en her locks must by fix’d laws be dight;40

Alike the glory of the woods is she,

And flower of aye-inviolate Chastity.

So o’er her virgin bands tall Cynthia shows,

And leads her troop athwart the rocks and snows;

E’en so she bends her eyebrows’ double bow,

As though keen arrows from her eyes she’d throw.

One doubts if with her eyes the beast she slew

Whose fur around her neck and breast we view.

Alcides’ self girt with a lion’s hide,

Bearing the wheeling globe, scarce with her vied.50

And her fair throat, as white as northern snow,

But not as white as breasts half glimps’d below!

No more — scarce even this might there be seen:

Stern steel encas’d the bosom of my Queen.

Or did her mantle aid imperfect art,

Which then retired, unequal to its part?

Or with those three to vie does she disdain,

And Beauty’s palm, though ne’er disrobed, would gain? —

Eager for Juno’s, Pallas’ glorious spoils,

Shrinking from Venus’ captivating toils,60

She reck’d no more the fleeting fame of looks,

But nightly gave her studious mind to books.

How oft her maids that sleepless soul would warn,

“Alas, the bloom once gone will ne’er return.”

Now Philomel her labour lulls in sleep,

And all the woods a restful silence keep,

More ardent still her busy care she plies,

And makes each learned work her welcome prize:

To know and keep within her sovereignty,

To learn what is, what was, and what shall be;70

Avenging thus the rude Goth’s barbarous fires,

She expiates the fury of her sires.

From her the docile tribes example take,

And into two-voiced speech their infants break;

The Latins yield themselves to Swedish bounds,

And every grove with Roman song resounds.

Upsala now with ancient Athens vies;

Here Pallas‘ shield, and here her chariot lies.

Ah, what clear stream shall hence our hopes fulfill,

When our Athene guards the sacred rill!80

Their happy streams with milk and honey flow,

And Saal is ting’d with Issell’s golden glow. —

Upsalian Muses, take a loftier flight,

And sing of matters none may rank too light.

’Tis said that Christ not even to His own

Reveal’d the mystery of that “white stone”;

And Him, Christina, whose blest name thou wearest

Graven within thy faithful heart thou bearest.

On this pure flame her virgin soul is fed,

Before this fire her inmost heart outspread.90

Thou too, Christina, hast thy saintship won;

Bolsena’s maid bears not the palm alone.

Learn then, ye kings, whom Heav’n has raised on high,

From this example, God to glorify:

Blush, being great, to compass childish things,

Vain trifles, and the wealth which sorrow brings;

See our brave British horseman pass them all,

No spoils of unarm’d flock before him fall —

Fluttering the eagle in his German pine,

Driving the she-wolf from the Palatine.100

Yet too combine your camps, and seek your prey;

Hedge-in with narrowing bonds this evil day;

Triumphant Cromwell lifts his helmless head.

Ready to lead, or follow nobly led.

Like Godfrey at the citadel of old,

Adown whose back the white locks thickly roll’d,

Christina can let loose the Finns and Lapps,

Whom Boreas in his prison close enwraps;

As fret the winds in their Æolian cave,

And strain to burst their narrow mountain-grave.110

If SHE their veh’ment fury shouldunchain,

What storm would break on Austria and Spain!

But thou returning shalt account for all —

And speedy be the time of thy recall!

No longer then our tardy speech shall freeze;

Loos’d by the glowing sun and Spring’s fresh breeze,

A Queen more powerful thaws the wintry ground,

And trebly frees the Pole which th’ other bound.

They say she heard and piti’d our sad case,

Praising the clear faith of a sturdy race;120

Refus’d the wily Dutchman’s proffer’d pact,

And spurn’d to use insidious thought or act;

Eager a mutual treaty to ordain,

And loves the liberty which marks her reign.

Worthy that Solomon his praise should pay,

And Sheba’s queen burn incense in her way.

Thou, Ingelo, wilt better chant her fame;

Thy lyre more sweetly may the honour claim.

Without thee listless on Thames’ banks we rove,

And o’er the barren plains disbanded move.130

The pipe discordant mocks our awkward throat,

And Roger’s cithern will not yield a note.

Still, mindful, to our absent friend we sing;

And may our strains, though light, some pleasure bring!

34. Parrhasis, is an Arcadian epithet for Callisto, a nymph of Diana seduced by Zeus, and changed into Ursa Major, the brightest Northern constellation. (Carl E. Bain)

36. Delia: Diana.

37. Trivia: Diana of the crossways.

50: Hercules for a time took Atlas’ place as upholder of the heavens.

82. Saal . . . Issell: Swedish rivers.

92: St. Christina drowned in the Lake of Bolsena.

97: Cromwell.

99: The Holy Roman Empire.

100: The Catholic Church.

105. Godfrey: Godfrey of Bulloigne, a heroic crusader, who put on a crown of thorns before entering Jerusalem.

132. Roger: Benjamin Rogers, a composer whose music Ingelo had performed before Queen Christina.

http://ebooks.adelaide.edu.au/m/marvell/andrew/poems/poem46.html

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