Poems, by Andrew Marvell

Advice to a Painter.

Spread a large canvas, Painter, to contain

The great assembly, and the numerous train;

Where all about him shall in triumph sit,

Abhorring wisdom, and despising wit;

Hating all justice, and resolv’d to fight, 5

To rob their native country of their right.

First draw his Highness prostrate to the South,

Adoring Rome, this label in his mouth, —

“Most holy father! being joyn’d in league

With father Patrick, Danby, and with Teague, 10

Thrown at your sacred feet, I humbly bow,

I, and the wise associates of my vow,

A vow, nor fire nor sword shall ever end,

Till all this nation to your footstool bend.

Thus arm’d with zeal and blessing from your hands,

I’ll raise my Papists, and my Irish bands; 15

And by a noble well-contrived plot,

Managed by wise Fitz-Gerald, and by Scot,

Prove to the world I’ll make old England know,

That Common Sense is my eternal foe. 20

I ne’er can fight in a more glorious cause,

Than to destroy their liberty and laws;

Their House of Commons, and their House of Lords,

Parliaments, precedents, and dull records.

Shall these e’er dare to contradict my will, 25

And think a prince o’ the blood can e’er do ill!

It is our birthright to have power to kill.

Shall they e’er dare to think they shall decide

The way to heaven! and who shall be my guide?

Shall they pretend to say, that bread is bread, 30

If we affirm it is a God indeed?

Or there ’s no Purgatory for the dead?

That extreme unction is but common oyl?

And not infallible, the Roman soil?

I’ll have those villains in our notions rest; 35

And I do say it, therefore it ’s the best.”

Next, Painter, draw his Mordant by his side,

Conveying his religion and his bride:

He, who long since abjur’d the royal line,

Does now in Popery with his master join. 40

Then draw the princess with her golden locks,

Hastening to be envenom’d with the pox.

And in her youthful veins receive a wound,

Which sent N[an] H[yde] before her under ground;

The wound of which the tainted C[arta]ret fades, 45

Laid up in store for a new set of maids.

Poor princess! born under a sullen star,

To find such welcome when you came so far!

Better some jealous neighbour of your own

Had call’d you to a sound, tho petty throne; 50

Where ’twixt a wholsome husband and a page,

You might have linger’d out a lazy age,

Than on dull hopes of being here a Queen,

Ere twenty die, and rot before fifteen.

Now, Painter, show us in the blackest dye, 55

The counsellors of all this yillany.

Clifford, who first appeared in humble guise,

Was always thought too gentle, meek, and wise;

But when he came to act upon the stage,

He prov’d the mad Cathegus of our age. 60

He and his Duke had both too great a mind,

To be by Justice or by Law confined:

Their broiling heads can bear no other sounds.

Then fleets and armies, battles, blood and wounds:

And to destroy our liberty they hope, 65

By Irish fools, and an old doting Pope.

Next, Talbot must by his great master stand,

Laden with folly, flesh, and ill-got land;

He’s of a size indeed to fill a porch.

But ne’er can make a pillar of the church. 70

His sword is all his argument, not his book;

Altho no scholar, he can act the cook.

And will cut throats again, if he be paid;

In th’ Irish shambles he first leam’d the trade.

Then, Painter, shew thy skill, and in fit place 75

Let’s see the nuncio Arundel’s sweet face;

Let the beholders by thy art espy

His sense and soul, as squinting as his eye.

Let Bellasis’ autumnal face be seen,

Rich with the spoils of a poor Algerine; 80

Who, trusting in him, was by him betrayed,

And so shall we, when his advic’s obey’d.

The hero once got honour by his sword;

He got his wealth, by breaking of his word;

And now his daughter he hath got with child, 85

And pimps to have his family defil’d.

Next, Painter, draw the rabble of the plot;

German, Fitz-Gerald, Loffcus, Porter, Scot:

These are fit heads indeed to turn a State,

And change the order of a nation’s fate; 90

Ten thousand such as these shall ne’er control

The smallest atom of an English soul.

Old England on its strong foundation stands,

Defying all their heads and all their hands;

Its steady basis never could be shook, 95

When wiser men her ruin undertook;

And can her guardian angel let her stoop

At last to madmen, fools, and to the Pope?

No, Painter, no! close up the piece, and see

This crowd of traytors hang’d in effigie. 100

To the King.

Great Charles, who full of mercy migh’st command,

In peace and pleasure, this thy native Land,

At last take pity of thy tottering throne,

Shook by the faults of others, not thine own;

Let not thy life and crown together end, 105

Destroyed by a false brother and false Mend.

Observe the danger that appears so near,

That all your subjects do each minute fear:

One drop of poyson, or a popish knife,

Ends all the joys of England with thy life. 110

Brothers, ’tis true, by nature should be kind;

But a too zealous and ambitious mind,

Brib’d with a crown on earth, and one above.

Harbours no friendship, tenderness, or love.

See in all ages what examples are 115

Of monarchs murder’d by th’ impatient heir.

Hard fate of princes, who will ne’er believe.

Till the stroke’s struck which they can ne’er retrieve!


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