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(Voluptuous and wise withal,
Epicurean animal !)
Satiate with thy summer feast,
Thou retir'st to endless rest.
A MIGHTY pain to love it is,
And 'tis a pain that pain to miss,
But of all pain the greatest pain
It is to love, but love in vain.
Virtue now nor noble blood,
Nor wit, by love is understood.
Gold alone does passion move,
Gold monopolises love!
A curse on her and on the man
Who this traffic first began !
A curse on him who found the ore !
A curse on him who digged the store !
A curse on him that did refine it!
A curse on him that first did coin it!
A curse, all curses else above,
On him who used it first in love!
Gold begets in brethren hate;
Gold, in families debate :
Gold does friendship separate ;
Gold does civil wars create
These the smallest harms of it:
Gold, alas I does love beget.
Though better known as a prose writer, the poetic pieces on The Emigrants in the Bermudas, and especially The Nymph Complaining for the Death of her Fawn, show that he possessed at least both true poetic feeling and genuine pathos. The name of Marvell is immortalised in connection with that of Milton whose intimate friendship he enjoyed, and with whom he was for some time associated as Assistant-Secretary to the Commonwealth Government,
* Lugete, o Veneres, Cupidinesque,
Et quantum est hominum venustiorum.'
The wanton troopers riding by
Have shot my fawn, and it will die.
Ungentle men! They cannot thrive
Who killed thee. Thou ne'er didst, alive,
Them any harm : alas ! nor could
Thy death to them do any good.
I'm sure I never wished them ill,
Nor do I for all this, nor will :
But, if my simple prayers may yet
Prevail with heaven to forget
Thy murder, I will join my tears
Rather than fail. But O
But O my fears!
It cannot die so. Heaven's king
Keeps register of everything,
And nothing may we use in vain;
E'en beasts must be with justice slain,
Else men are made their deodands.
Though they should wash their guilty hands
In this warm life-blood, which doth part
From thine, and wound me to the heart,
Yet could they not be clean : their stain
Is dyed in such a purple grain,
There is not such another in
The world to offer for their sin.
Inconstant Sylvio, when yet
I had not found him counterfeit,
One morning, I remember well,
Tied in this silver chain and bell,
Gave her to me; nay, and I know
What he said then I'm sure I do.
Said he, 'Look how your huntsman here
Hath taught a fawn to hunt his deer.'
But Sylvio soon had me beguiled :
She waxed tame, while he grew wild,
And, quite regardless of my smart,
Left me his fawn, but took his heart.
Thenceforth I set myself to play
My solitary time away
With this; and very well content
Could so mine idle life have spent :
For it was full of sport, and light
Of foot and heart, and did invite
Me to its game; it seemed to bless
Itself in me. How could I less
Than love it? O, I cannot be
Unkind to a beast that loveth me!
Had it lived long, I do not know
Whether it, too, might have done so
As Sylvio did: his gifts might be
Perhaps as false, or more, than be.
For I am sure, for aught than I
Could in so short a time espy,
Thy love was far more better than
The love of false and cruel man.
With sweetest milk and
first I it at mine own fingers nursed ; And as it grew, so every day It waxed more white and sweet than they. It had so sweet a breath! and oft I blushed to see its foot more soft, And white, shall I say?-than my handThan any lady's of the land !
It was a wondrous thing how fleet
'Twas on those little silver feet.
With what a pretty skipping grace
It oft would challenge me the race:
And when't had left me far away,
Twould stay and run again, and stay;
For it was nimbler much than hinds,
And trod as if on the four winds.
I have a garden of my own,
But so with roses overgrown,
And lilies, that you would it guess
To be a little wilderness :
And all the spring-time of the year
It loved only to be there.
Among the beds of lilies I
Have sought it oft, where it should lie;
Yet could not, till itself would rise,
Find it, although before mine eyes :
For in the flaxen lilies' shade
It like a bank of lilies laid.
Upon the roses it would feed,
Until its lips e'en seemed to bleed:
And then to me 'twould boldly trip,
And print those roses on my lip.
But all its chief delight was still
On roses thus itself to fill,
And its pure virgin lips to fold
In whitest sheets of lilies cold.
Had it lived long, it would have been
Lilies without, roses within.
The Nymph Complaining for the Death of her Fawn.
THE ALL-SUFFICIENCY OF NATURE.
How vainly men themselves amaze,
To win the palm, the oak, or bays:
And their incessant labours see
Crowned from some single herb or tree,
Whose short and narrow-verged shade
Does prudently their toils upbraid ;
While all the flowers and trees do close
To weave the garlands of repose.
Fair Quiet, have I found thee here,
And Innocence, thy sister dear ?
Mistaken long, I sought you then
In busy companies of men.