Andrew Marvell, the Critical Heritage

By Elizabeth Story Donno | Go to book overview

36.

William Mason, from the ode ‘To Independency’

1756

By his own boast, a compère, as well as the literary executor, of Thomas Gray, William Mason (1724-97) is largely remembered as his first (and worst) editor—The Life and Letters of Gray (1774).

His Odes were published in 1756 in Cambridge and Dublin. The second, which includes three strophes on Marvell, was addressed to Robert D’Arcy, fourth Earl of Holdernesse (see st. 6).

Extract from the Cambridge edition (1756).

III

As now o’er this lone beach I stray;
Thy fav’rite Swain* oft stole along,
And artless wove his Doric lay,
Far from the busy throng.
Thou heard’st him, Goddess, strike the tender string,
And badst his soul with bolder passions move:
Strait these responsive shores forgot to ring,
With Beauty’s praise, or plaint of slighted Love;
To loftier flights his daring Genius rose,
And led the war, ‘gainst thine, and Freedom’s foes.

IV

Pointed with Satire’s keenest steel,
The shafts of Wit he darts around;
Ev’n mitred Dulness† learns to feel,

* Andrew Marvell, born at Kingston upon Hull in the year 1620.

Parker, Bishop of Oxford.

-113-

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