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XVIII.

OLD POETS.

ANDREW MARVELL.

ANDREW MARVELL's very name suggests the idea of incorruptible patriotism. The well-known story of his refusing a court bribe by calling his servant to prove that he had dined three times upon a shoulder of mutton, although probably apocryphal, serves to prove the notion universally entertained of the uncompromising member for Hull; unassailable as Robespierre himself to all money temptations, and strong enough to have resisted the subtler temptations of power. His learning too is generally acknowledged. He shared with Milton the high and honourable office of Latin Secretary to the Lord Protector; was the champion of the great poet's living reputation; the supporter of free principles against all assailants; and is praised even by Swift, not addicted to over-praise, for the keen wit and fiery eloquence of his polemical tracts; nay, the Dean paid him the still more unequivocal compliment of imitating his style pretty closely.

As a poet, he is little known, except to the professed and unwearied reader of old folios. And yet his poems possess many of the finest elements of

popularity: a rich profusion of fancy which almost dazzles the mind as bright colours dazzle the eye; an earnestness and heartiness which do not always, do not often belong to these flowery fancies, but which when found in their company add to them inexpressible vitality and savour; and a frequent felicity of phrase, which when once read, fixes itself in the memory and will not be forgotten.

Mixed with these dazzling qualities is much carelessness and a prodigality of conceits which the stern Roundhead ought to have left with other frippery to his old enemies, the Cavaliers. But it was the vice of the age-all ages have their favourite literary sins -and we must not blame Marvell too severely for falling into an error to which the very exuberance of his nature rendered him peculiarly prone. His mind was a bright garden, such a garden as he has described so finely, and that a few gaudy weeds should mingle with the healthier plants does but serve to prove the fertility of the soil.

BERMUDAS.

Where the remote Bermudas ride
In the ocean's bosom unespied;
From a small boat that rowed along
The listening winds received their song.
"What should we do but sing His praise
That led us through the watery maze,
Unto an isle so long unknown,
And yet far kinder than our own?

"Where He the huge sea-monsters wracks
That lift the deep upon their backs,
He lands us on a grassy stage,
Safe from the storms and prelate's rage.

"He gave us this eternal spring,
Which here enamels everything;
And sends the fowls to us in care
On daily visits through the air.

"He hangs in shades the orange bright Like golden lamps in a green night, And does in the pomegranates close Jewels more rich than Ormus shows.

"He makes the figs our mouths to meet ;
And throws the melons at our feet;
But apples, plants of such a price,
No tree could ever bear them twice.

"With cedars, chosen by His Hand,
From Lebanon He stores the land;
And makes the hollow seas that roar
Proclaim the ambergris on shore.

"He casts, of which we rather boast,
The Gospel's pearl upon our coast;
And in these rocks for us did frame
A Temple where to sound His name.

"Oh let our voice His praise exalt
Till it shall reach to Heaven's vault,
Which thence, perhaps, rebounding may
Echo beyond the Mexique bay!"

Thus sang they in the English boat,
A holy and a cheerful note;
And all the way, to guide their chime
With falling oars they kept the time.

THE GARDEN.

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 vergèd shade
Does prudently their toils upbraid;

While all the flowers and trees do close, To weave the garland 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.
Your sacred plants, if here below,
Only among the plants will grow.
Society is all but rude

To this delicious solitude.

No white, nor red was ever seen So amorous as this lovely green. Fond lovers cruel as their flame, Cut in these trees their mistress' name. Little, alas! they know or heed How far these beauties her exceed! Fair trees! where'er your backs I wound, No name shall but your own be found. When we have run our passion's heat, Love hither makes his best retreat. The Gods, who mortal beauty chase, Still in a tree did end their race. Apollo hunted Daphne so, Only that she might laurel grow; And Pan did after Syrinx speed, Not as a nymph, but for a seed. What wondrous life in this I lead ! Ripe apples drop about my head; The luscious clusters of the vine Upon my mouth do crush their wine; The nectarine, the curious peach Into my hands themselves do reach ; Stumbling on melons, as I pass, Ensnared with flowers, I fall on grass.

Meanwhile the mind from pleasure less Withdraws into its happiness;

The mind, that ocean, where each kind Does straight its own resemblance find,

Yet it creates, transcending these,
Far other worlds, and other seas;
Annihilating all that's made
To a green thought in a green shade.

Here at the fountain's sliding foot,
Or at some fruit-tree's mossy root,
Casting the body's vest aside,
My soul into the boughs does glide:
There like a bird it sits and sings,
Then whets and claps its silver wings;
And till prepared for longer flight,
Waves in its plumes the various light.

Such was that happy garden-state,
While man there walked without a mate;
After a place so pure and sweet,

What other help could yet be meet!
But 'twas beyond a mortal's share
To wander solitary there;
Two Paradises are in one,
To live in Paradise alone!

How well the skilful gardener drew
Of flowers and herbs this dial new:
Where, from above, the milder sun
Does through a fragrant Zodiac run:
And as it works, the industrious bee
Computes his time as well as we.

How could such sweet and wholesome hours
Be reckoned but with herbs and flowers?

Wicked person! I was over charitable in forgiving his conceits. It is not in woman to pardon his want of gallantry. One can only suppose that the unhappy man was an old bachelor. If the last stanza but one be provoking to female vanity, the last of all excites another feminine quality, called curiosity. What does the new dial mean? Is there really nothing new under the sun? And had they in the middle

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