In a survey of authors who could be classed as ‘obligatory, ’ the poet and critic Stephen Gwynn (1864-1950) includes Marvell only briefly in a chapter devoted to Bunyan and Butler.
Extract from ‘Puritanism and the Reaction’ in The Masters of English Literature (1904), pp. 127-9.
It is characteristic of Milton’s orbed isolation that he neither belonged to nor founded a school. Among his intimates was only one man of note in letters, Andrew Marvel, who in the last years of the Protectorate was adjoined to Milton as assistant secretary. Yet, though Marvel belonged to the Puritans in politics and religion he shows nothing of the Puritan in his literature, save in his choice of subjects. Of the three noble lyrics by which he survives, one is the Horatian Ode on Cromwell, a second the song of the Pilgrim Fathers, ‘Where the remote Bermoothes ride In the ocean’s bosom unespied. ’ A third, The Garden, betrays more fully his true affinity in literature. Marvel might write stanzas to the author of Paradise Lost (‘When I behold the poet blind yet bold’), but his own master was the royalist Abraham Cowley. Cowley had succeeded Donne as chief of what has been called the ‘metaphysical school’—poets who revelled in strange conceits drawn from unlikely sources of knowledge. There is a trace of this mannerism in these famous lines from The Garden:
[Quotes ll. 41-8. ]
But as fuller example of this school at its very best may be given this citation from Marvel’s lines To his Coy Mistress:
[Quotes ll. 1-32. ]