Poems, by Andrew Marvell

Two Songs

at the Marriage of the Lord Fauconberg and the Lady Mary Cromwell.


First Song.

Chorus, Endymion, Luna.


THE astrologer’s own eyes are set,

And even wolves the sheep forget;

Only this shepherd, late and soon,

Upon this hill outwakes the moon;

Hark how he sings with sad delight,

Thorough the clear and silent night!


CYNTHIA, O CYNTHIA, turn thine ear,

Nor scorn ENDYMION’S plaintsto hear!

As we our flocks, so you command

The fleecy clouds with silver wand.10


If thou a mortal, rather sleep;

Or if a shepherd, watch thy sheep.


The shepherd, since he saw thine eyes,

And sheep, are both thy sacrifice;

Nor merits he a mortal’s name,

That burns with an immortal flame.


I have enough for me to do,

Ruling the waves that ebb and flow.


Since thou disdain’st not then to share

On sublunary things thy care,20

Rather restrain these double seas,

Mine eyes, incessant deluges.


My wakeful lamp all night must move,

Securing their repose above.


If therefore thy resplendent ray

Can make a night more bright than day,

Shine thorough this obscurer breast,

With shades of deep despair oppressed.


Courage, ENDYMION, boldly woo!

ANCHISES was a shepherd too,30

Yet is her younger sister laid

Sporting with him in IDA’Sshade:

And CYNTHIA,though the strongest,

Seeks but the honour to have held out longest.


Here unto Latmos’ top I climb,

How far below thine orb sublime!

O why, as well as eyes to see,

Have I not arms that reach to thee?


’Tis needless then that I refuse,

Would you but your own reason use.40


Though I so high may not pretend,

It is the same, so you descend.


These stars would say I do them wrong,

Rivals, each one, for thee too strong.


The stars are fixed unto their sphere

And cannot, though they would, come near.

Less loves set off each other’s praise,

While stars eclipse by mixing rays.


That cave is dark.


Then none can spy:

Or shine thou there, and ’tis the sky.50



For he has CYNTHIA’S favour won,

And JOVE himself approves

With his serenest influence their loves.

For he did never love to pair

His progeny above the air;

But to be honest, valiant, wise,

Makes mortals matches fit for deities.

Second Song.

Hobbinol, Phillis, Tomalin.



Never such a merry day,

For the northern shepherd’s son

Has MENALCA’S daughter won.


Stay till I some flowers have tied

In a garland for the bride.


If thou wouldst a garland bring,

PHILLIS, you may wait the spring:

They have chosen such an hour

When she is the only flower. 10


Let’s not then, at least, be seen

Without each a sprig of green.


Fear not; at MENALCA’Shall

There are bays enough for all.

He, when young as we, did graze,

But when old he planted bays.


Here she comes; but with a look

Far more catching than my hook;

’Twas those eyes, I now dare swear,

Led our lambs we know not where.20


Not our lambs’ own fleeces are

Curled so lovely as her hair,

Nor our sheep new-washed can be

Half so white or sweet as she.


He so looks as fit to keep

Somewhat else than silly sheep.


Come, let’s in some carol new

Pay to love and them their due.


Joy to that happy pair,30

Whose hopes united banish our despair.

What shepherd could for love pretend,

Whilst all the nymphs on DAMON’s choice attend?

What shepherdess could hope to wed

Before MARINA’s turn were sped?

Now lesser beauties may take place,

And meaner virtues come in play;

While they,

Looking from high,

Shall grace

Our flocks and us with a propitious eye.40

But what is most, the gentle swain

No more shall need of love complain;

But virtue shall be beauty’s hire,

And those be equal, that have equal fire.

MARINA yields. Who dares be coy?

Or who despair, now DAMON does enjoy?

Joy to that happy pair,

Whose hopes united banish our despair!

Mary, Cromwell’s third daughter (born 1637), became, on Nov. 19, 1657, second wife of Thomas Belasyse, second Viscount Fauconberg, afterwards Earl of Fauconberg (1627-1700). She died in 1712. (See Pepys’s Diary, June 12, 1663.) Lord Fauconberg went over to the Parliamentarians during Cromwell’s rule, became a Royalist again at the Restoration, and joined in the invitation to William III. to accept the English crown.


Last updated Sunday, March 27, 2016 at 11:58