Andrew Marvell, the Critical Heritage

By Elizabeth Story Donno | Go to book overview

14.

An anonymous poetic tribute to Marvell’s character

c. 1689

This anonymous tribute, perhaps the work of Richard Graham whose elegiac poems were published in 1680, derives from a private manuscript. It was first printed in 1971 by L. A. Davies.

From Yearbook of English Studies 1 (1971), p. 101.

Mr Andrew Marvells character
Tho’ faith in Oracles be long since ceas’d
And Truth in Miracles be much decreas’d
Yet all true wonders did not vanish quite
While Marvels tongue could speak or pen could write.
Marvell whose Name was for his Nature fitt,
Mirrour of Mirth, and Prodigie of Witt;
On whom the wondring Age did stare and gaze
As purblind People do when Comets blaze
And their presaging influence do spread
Upon the Crowned and the Mitred Head, 10
Perchance while he convers’d on earth with men
Poetick fury might misguide his Pen
Perhaps he might too daringly deride
A Princes Folly or a Prelats Pride;
Yet was his arm so farr from pulling down
A well-grac’d Mitre, or a right plac’d crown1
That Both when falling found from him support
Tho’ neither were so kind as thank him for’t:
Yet he ne’er envyed their auspicious Fate.
Who gain’d the Style of Poet Laureate 20

1 Davies suggests that ‘well-grac’d Mitre’ may refer to Marvell’s defense of Bishop Croft. ‘A right plac’d crown’ may equally well refer to the ‘Horatian Ode’.

-66-

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