Poems, by Andrew Marvell

Bibliographical Note.

Most of Marvell’s poems on political subjects doubtless appeared as broadsides or pamphlets at the time they were written; but of these original issues one only is known to have survived. “The Character of Holland,” written in 1653, printed early, probably, in that year, appears to have been reprinted, in folio, in 1665, with the omission of the latter portion, in which praise was given to Blake and other commanders of the Commonwealth. This mutilated version was again printed, in quarto, in 1672. “The first Anniversary of the Government under his Highness the Lord Protector” was printed, in quarto, by Thomas Newcomb, London, in 1665. “Advice to a Painter” was printed as a four-page folio sheet, without date, but apparently in 1679, after Marvell’s death. The following poems first appeared in the volumes mentioned: (1 and 2) “Προσ Καρρολον Τον Βασιλεα” and “Ad Regem Carolum” (“Musa Cantabrigiensis,” 1637); (3) “Upon the Death of the Lord Hastings” (“Lacrymae Musarum,” 1649); (4) “To his noble Friend, Mr. Richard Lovelace, upon his Poems” (“Lucasta, by Richard Lovelace, Esq,” 1649); (5) “To his worthy Friend, Dr. Whitty” (“Popular Sermons. . . . translated into English by R. Whittle,” 1651); (6,7, and 8) “Clarendon’s House Warming,” “Upon His House,” and “Upon his Grandchildren “ (“Directions to a Painter for describing our Naval Business: in imitation of Mr. Waller. Being the last works of Sir John Denham. Whereunto is annexed Clarendon’s House Warming. By an unknown Author,” 1667); (9) “On Paradise Lost” (Milton’s “Paradise Lost,” 1674); (10) “The Loyal Scot” (“Poetical Remains of the Duke of Buckingham, Sir George Etheridge, Mr. Milton, Mr. Andrew Marvel, &c.,” edited by Charles Gildon, 1698; and “Corpus Poetarum,” 1694). At the end of 1680 or early in 1681 Marvell’s wife published a collected edition of his “Miscellaneous Poems,” in folio. This volume, which was carefully edited, contains almost all the non-political poems in English, Latin, and Greek, and is our chief authority as regards the text. It should contain an octagon portrait, often missing.

The Satires appeared in 1689, in several quarto pamphlets.

  1. “A Collection of Poems on Affairs of State, By A—— M——l, Esq., and other eminent wits.” (Contains “Advice to a Painter,” “Britannia and Raleigh,” “The Statue at Stocks–Market,” and “Nostradamus’ Prophecy.”)

  2. “The Second Part of the Collection,” &c. “By A—— M——l, &c. None whereof ever before printed.” (Contains “A Dialogue between Two Horses,” and “On the Lord Mayor and Aldermen presenting the King and Duke of York each with a copy of his freedom.”)

  3. “The Third Part of the Collection,” &c. (Contains the “Last Instructions to a Painter.”)

All the satires were reprinted in the collection of “Poems on Affairs of State,” 1703–7, 4 vols., 8vo, and in the spurious edition, “A New Collection of Poems relating to State Affairs,” 1705.

In 1726 Thomas Cooke published an edition of Marvell’s Works, in 2 vols., 12mo, in which he added the political satires, and a few letters, to the poems in the 1681 edition. Cooke’s edition was reprinted by Davies in 1772; and in 1776 Captain Thompson published the first full edition of the whole works. In his three 4to vols, he made use of a MS. commonplace book which afterwards disappeared; and while he printed several pieces obviously not Marvell’s, he gave for the first time some of the poet’s best work, and added the correspondence with the Mayor and Corporation of Hull, and the prose writings. An American edition of the poems appeared at Boston in 1857, and this volume was reprinted in England, with many additional errors, in 1870 and 1881. Dr. Grosart’s standard edition of Marvell’s Works, in 4 vols., forms part of the “Fuller Worthies’ Library,” and was issued to subscribers in three forms, 4to, 8vo, and 12mo, between 1872 and 1875. In this edition several poems were printed for the first time, while it was shown that others have been wrongly attributed to Marvell; a great addition was made to the number of letters, and the whole of the works were annotated practically for the first time.

The prose works that can with certainty be claimed as Marvell’s are as follows:—

  1. “The Rehearsal Transprosed,” 1672, 12mo. (There was a “Second Impression” early in 1673, but dated 1672; and a spurious “Second Edition Corrected,” 1672.)

  2. “The Rehearsal Transprosed. The Second Part. By Andrew Marvell.” 1673, 12mo.

  3. “Mr. Smirke, or the Divine in Mode. By Andreas Rivetus, Junior.” 1676, 4to.

  4. “An Account of the Growth of Popery and Arbitrary Government in England.” 1677, 4to. (Reprinted in folio, after Marvell’s death.)

    5. “Remarks upon a late disingenuous discourse writ by one T. D. under the pretence De Causa Dei and of answering Mr. John Howe’s Letter and Postscript of God’s Prescience. By a Protestant.” 1678, 8vo.

For biography and criticism the following books and papers will be found useful: Lives in the editions of Cooke, Thompson, and Grosart; Life by John Dove, 1832; Life by Hartley Coleridge, 1832 and 1835, and in “Lives of the Northern Worthies,” 1852 (this Life is the same as Dove’s, with some notes added by Coleridge); a sketch by Henry Rogers, in the Edinburgh Review for 1844, and in his collected “Essays”; anonymous articles in the Retrospective Review, vols. x. and xi., Westminster Review, January, 1833, Cornhill Magazine, July 1869 (an excellent article), and Macmillan’s Magazine, January, 1891; articles by Mr. C. D. Christie in the Spectator and Saturday Review, 1873; Notes and Queries, passim; Mr. Palgrave’s Golden Treasury; Dr. Macdonald’s England’s Antiphon; Miss Mitford’s Recollections of a Literary Life; Archbishop Trench’s Household Book of English Poetry; and Mrs. Hall’s (nee Marie Sibree) story, “Andrew Marvell and his Friends” (1875). For the general history of the time the following books, among others will be found useful: The Diaries of Pepys and Evelyn; Grammont’s Memoirs; Clarendon’s Life, and Continuation; Burnet’s History of his own Time; Masson’s Life of Milton; Christie’s Life of Lord Shaftesbury; Cobbett’s Parliamentary Debates; Grey’s Debates; Memoirs of Sir John Reresby; Fomeron’s Louise de Keroualle; the Savile Correspondence; and articles in the Dictionary of National Biography. The Diaries of Narcissus Luttrell and Henry Sidney, Earl of Romsey, are sometimes of use, though they do not commence until shortly after Marvell’s death.


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