Poems, by Andrew Marvell

In eandem Reginae Sueciae transmissam


Bellipotens Virgo, septem Regina Trionum.

Christina, Arctoi lucida stella Poli;

Cernis quas merui dura sub Casside Rugas;

Sicque Senex Armis impiger Ora fero;

Invia Factorum dum per Vestigia nitor,

Exequor & Populi fortia Jussa Manu.

At tibi submittit frontem reverentior Umbra,

Nec sunt hi Vultus Regibus usque truces.

In April, 1654, Cromwell concluded a treaty with Sweden, and sent to Queen Christina a portrait of himself, accompanied by these verses of Marvell’s . Queen Christina abdicated the throne on the 16th of the following June, when she was only twenty-eight years of age. These lines have often been printed as Milton’s, but Masson (Poetical Works of John Milton, 1874, II. 343-352) gives full reasons for thinking they are Marvell’s . They follow naturally after the lines to Dr. Ingelo.

Translation by A. B. Grosart.

On the same being sent to the Queen of Sweden

O virgin Queen of the North, expert in war,

Christina, th’ Arctic heaven’s fair-shining star,

See the hard helmet’s furrows on my brow —

Though old, not sluggard, yet in arms I go.

Whilst in Fate’s pathless toils I struggle still,

And work the mandates of the people’s will,

To you this shade its reverent forehead bends,

My looks not always stern to royal friends.


Last updated Tuesday, October 20, 2015 at 11:14