Andrew Marvell, the Critical Heritage

By Elizabeth Story Donno | Go to book overview

different bitterness. Then, as now, men seemed to make the worst of both worlds, because they could see neither. They lived, as they live, in a nonsense world of their own making; and the poets shatter it more gently, but not less surely, than the prophets. For they show us the true world of sense, which in their art is one. That relation which is beauty is of both worlds; whenever you see beauty as it is—

…round about you glory breaks,
That something more than human speaks.
All beauty when at such a height
Is so already consecrate. [ll. 143-6]

These poets, whether they trifle or agonize, are a prophecy of the human mind when it shall have learned its true business, to be aware of the one world of beauty, and to act according to its awareness. The hero rushes into the nonsense world that he may force it into sense; the poet also has his own cure for it. He is the sun shining on the obstinate traveller; he tells us that we have only to cast away the cloak of our own blindness and we shall see reality.


99.

H. M. Margoliouth on Marvell and his contemporaries

1919

Academician and later distinguished editor of Marvell’s poems and letters, H. M. Margoliouth (1887-1959) published the two-part essay on Marvell anonymously. He is identified as its author by Legouis, André Marvell (Paris-London, 1928), p. 480.

(a) ‘Marvell and Cowley, ’ Saturday Review, 127 (7 June 1919), pp. 550-1.

-339-

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