[Quotes ‘Upon the Hill and Grove at Bill-borow, ’ ll. 17-20, 25-34. ]
Sometimes Marvel observes little circumstances of rural nature with the eye and feeling of a true Poet.
[Quotes ‘Appleton House, ’ ll. 529-32. ]
The last circumstance is new, highly poetical, and could only have been described by one who was a real lover of nature, and a witness of her beauties in her most solitary retirements. It is the observation of such circumstances, which can alone form an accurate descriptive rural Poet. In this province of his art, Pope therefore must evidently fail, as he could not describe what his physical infirmities prevented his observing. For the same reason, Johnson, as a critic, was not a proper judge of this sort of Poetry.
Also sharing in the ‘Pope and Bowles’ controversy, the Scottish poet Thomas Campbell (1777-1844) published his Specimens of the British Poets in 1819, an anthology with critical and biographical notices of the writers. He included three lyrics of Marvell’s, only one of which he printed in its entirety (‘Young Love’).
Extract from Specimens of the British Poets, extra-illustrated (1819), IV, p. 193.
A better edition of Marvell’s work than any that has been given, is due to his literary and patriotic character. He was the champion of Milton’s living reputation, and the victorious supporter of free