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I am the mower Damon, known
Through all the meadows I have mown;
On me the morn her dew distils

Before her darling daffodils.
And again, of the mowers,

Who seem like Israelites to be
Walking on foot through a green sea,
To them the grassy deeps divide
And crowd a lane to either side.

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The aspects of the country on which he dwells with deepest pleasure—and here lies the charmare not those of Nature in her sublimer or more elated moods, but the gentler and more pastoral elements, that are apt to pass unnoticed at the time by all but the true lovers of the quiet country side, and crowd in upon the mind when surfeited by the wilder glories of peak and precipice, or where tropical luxuriance side by side with tropical aridity blinds and depresses the sense, with the feeling that made Browning cry from Florence,

Oh, to be in England, now that April's there! Marvell's lines, “On the Hill and Grove at Billborow," are an instance of this; there is a certain fantastic craving after antithesis and strangeness, it is true, but the spirit underlies the lines. The poem however must be read in its entirety to gain the exact impression.

Again, for simple felicity, what could be more airily drawn than the following from “The Garden" ?

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 doth glide,
There like a bird it sits and sings,
Then whets and claps its silver wings.

Or this, from the Song to celebrate the marriage of Lord Fauconberg and the Lady Mary Cromwell, of the undisturbed dead of night ?

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

Through the clear and silent night.
Other poems, such as the “ Ode on the Drop of
Dew" and the “ Nymph Complaining for the
Death of her Fawn," too long to be quoted here,
are penetrated with the same essence.

At the same time it must be confessed that Marvell's imagery is sometimes at fault-it would be strange if it were not so; he falls now and then, the wonder is how rarely, to a mere literary conceit. Thus the mower Damon sees himself reflected in his scythe ; the fawn feeds on roses till its lip

seems to bleed," not with a possibly lurking thorn, but with the hue of its pasturage. With Hobbinol and Tomalin for the names of swain and nymph unreality is apt to grow. When the garden is compared to a fortress and its scents to a salvo of artillery

Well shot, ye firemen! O how sweet
And round your equal fires do meet-


Then in some flower's beloved hut
Each bee as sentinel is shut,
And sleeps so, too-but if once stirred,
She runs you through, nor asks the word

here, in spite of a certain curious felicity, we are in the region of false tradition and rococo expression. The poem of “Eyes and Tears," again (so whimsically admired by Archbishop Trench), is little more than a string of conceits; and when in “Mourning” we hear that

She courts herself in amorous rain,
Herself both Danae and the shower ;

when we are introduced to Indian divers who plunge in the tears and can find no bottom, we think of Macaulay's Tears of Sensibility," and Crashaw's fearful lines on the Magdalene's eyes

Two walking baths, two weeping motions,
Portable and compendious oceans.

Nevertheless Marvell's poems are singularly free as a rule from this strain of affectation. He has none of the morbidity that often passes for refinement. The free air, the wood-paths, the full heat of the summer sun--this is his scenery ; we are not brought into contact with the bones beneath the rose-bush, the splintered

sun-dial, and the stagnant pool. His pulses throb with ardent life, and have none of the "inexplicable faintness" of a deathlier school. What would not Crashaw have had to say of the “Nuns of Appleton" if he had been so unfortunate as to have lighted on them? But Marvell writes :

Our orient breaths perfumed are
With incense of incessant prayer,
And holy water of our tears
Most strangely our complexion clears ;
Not tears of Grief, but such as those
With which calm Pleasure overflows,

And passing by a sweet and natural transition to his little pupil, the young Recluse of Nunappleton

I see the angels, in a crown,
On you the lilies showering down,
And, round about you, glory breaks,
That something more than human speaks

The poems contain within themselves the germ of the later growth of satire in the shape of caustic touches of humour, as well as a certain austere philosophy that is apt to peer behind the superficial veil of circumstance, yet without dreary introspection. There is a Dialogue between Soul and Body, which deals with the duality of human nature which has been the despair of all philosophers and the painful axiom of all religious teachers. Marvell makes the Soul say :

Constrained not only to endure
Diseases, but what's worse, the cure,
And ready oft the port to gain,
· Am shipwrecked into health again.

In the same connection in “The Coronet," an allegory of the Ideal and the Real, he says:

Alas! I find the serpent old,
Twining in his speckled breast,
About the flowers disguised doth fold,
With wreaths of fame and interest.

Much of Marvell's philosophy however has not the same vitality, born of personal struggle and discomfiture, but is a mere echo of stoical and pagan views of life and its vanities drawn from Horace and Seneca, who seem to have been his favourite authors. Such a sentiment as the following, from “ Appleton House"

But he, superfluously spread,
Demands more room alive than dead;
What need of all this marble crust,
To impart the wanton mole of dust ? -

and from “ The Coy Mistress

The grave's a fine and private place,
But none, methinks, do there embrace-

are mere pagan commonplaces, however daintily expressed.

But there is a poem, an idyll in the form of a dialogue between Clorinda and Damon, which seems to contain an original philosophical motive.

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