Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Two Andrew Marvell Poems (one optional)


To His Coy Mistress

Had we but world enough, and time,
This coyness, Lady, were no crime.
We would sit down and think which way
To walk and pass our long love's day.
Thou by the Indian Ganges' side
Shouldst rubies find: I by the tide
Of Humber would complain. I would
Love you ten years before the Flood,
And you should, if you please, refuse
Till the conversion of the Jews.
My vegetable love should grow
Vaster than empires, and more slow;
An hundred years should go to praise
Thine eyes and on thy forehead gaze;
Two hundred to adore each breast;
But thirty thousand to the rest;
An age at least to every part,
And the last age should show your heart;
For, Lady, you deserve this state,
Nor would I love at lower rate.
But at my back I always hear
Time's wingèd chariot hurrying near;
And yonder all before us lie
Deserts of vast eternity.
Thy beauty shall no more be found,
Nor, in thy marble vault, shall sound
My echoing song: then worms shall try
That long preserved virginity,
And your quaint honour turn to dust,
And into ashes all my lust:
The grave's a fine and private place,
But none, I think, do there embrace.
Now therefore, while the youthful hue
Sits on thy skin like morning dew,
And while thy willing soul transpires
At every pore with instant fires,
Now let us sport us while we may,
And now, like amorous birds of prey,
Rather at once our time devour
Than languish in his slow-chapt power.
Let us roll all our strength and all
Our sweetness up into one ball,
And tear our pleasures with rough strife
Thorough the iron gates of life:
Thus, though we cannot make our sun
Stand still, yet we will make him run.

Carefully read and reread this poem. If you
have questions or observations to make about
it post them on this blog.
If you wish to have this or other Andrew Marvell
poems read to you aloud, go to:

Here is the optional poem by this poet. Alas, again we
encounter a nymph!

The Nymph Complaining for
the Death of her Fawn

The wanton troopers riding by
Have shot my fawn, and it will die.
Ungentle men! they cannot thrive
To kill thee. Thou ne’er didst alive
Them any harm, alas, nor could
Thy death yet do them any good.
I’m sure I never wish’d them ill,
Nor do I for all this, nor will;
But if my simple pray’rs may yet
Prevail with Heaven to forget
Thy murder, I will join my tears
Rather than fail. But oh, my fears!
It cannot die so. Heaven’s King
Keeps register of everything,
And nothing may we use in vain.
Ev’n beasts must be with justice slain,
Else men are made their deodands;
Though they should wash their guilty hands
In this warm life-blood, which doth part
From thine, and wound me to the heart,
Yet could they not be clean, their stain
Is dyed in such a purple grain.
There is not such another in
The world to offer for their sin.

Unconstant Sylvio, when yet
I had not found him counterfeit
One morning (I remember well)
Tied in this silver chain and bell,
Gave it to me; nay, and I know
What he said then; I’m sure I do.
Said he, “Look how your huntsman here
Hath taught a fawn to hunt his dear.”
But Sylvio soon had me beguil’d,
This waxed tame, while he grew wild;
And quite regardless of my smart,
Left me his fawn, but took his heart.

Thenceforth I set myself to play
My solitary time away,
With this, and very well content
Could so mine idle life have spent;
For it was full of sport, and light
Of foot and heart, and did invite
Me to its game; it seem’d to bless
Itself in me. How could I less
Than love it? Oh, I cannot be
Unkind t’ a beast that loveth me.

Had it liv’d long, I do not know
Whether it too might have done so
As Sylvio did; his gifts might be
Perhaps as false or more than he.
But I am sure, for aught that I
Could in so short a time espy,
Thy love was far more better then
The love of false and cruel men.

With sweetest milk and sugar first
I it at mine own fingers nurst;
And as it grew, so every day
It wax’d more white and sweet than they.
It had so sweet a breath! And oft
I blush’d to see its foot more soft
And white, shall I say than my hand?
Nay, any lady’s of the land.

It is a wond’rous thing how fleet
’Twas on those little silver feet;
With what a pretty skipping grace
It oft would challenge me the race;
And when ’t had left me far away,
’Twould stay, and run again, and stay,
For it was nimbler much than hinds,
And trod, as on the four winds.

I have a garden of my own,
But so with roses overgrown
And lilies, that you would it guess
To be a little wilderness;
And all the spring time of the year
It only loved to be there.
Among the beds of lilies I
Have sought it oft, where it should lie;
Yet could not, till itself would rise,
Find it, although before mine eyes;
For, in the flaxen lilies’ shade,
It like a bank of lilies laid.
Upon the roses it would feed
Until its lips ev’n seemed to bleed,
And then to me ’twould boldly trip
And print those roses on my lip.
But all its chief delight was still
On roses thus itself to fill,
And its pure virgin limbs to fold
In whitest sheets of lilies cold.
Had it liv’d long it would have been
Lilies without, roses within.

O help, O help! I see it faint,
And die as calmly as a saint.
See how it weeps! The tears do come,
Sad, slowly dropping like a gum.
So weeps the wounded balsam, so
The holy frankincense doth flow;
The brotherless Heliades
Melt in such amber tears as these.

I in a golden vial will
Keep these two crystal tears, and fill
It till it do o’erflow with mine,
Then place it in Diana’s shrine.

Now my sweet fawn is vanish’d to
Whither the swans and turtles go,
In fair Elysium to endure
With milk-white lambs and ermines pure.
O do not run too fast, for I
Will but bespeak thy grave, and die.

First my unhappy statue shall
Be cut in marble, and withal
Let it be weeping too; but there
Th’ engraver sure his art may spare,
For I so truly thee bemoan
That I shall weep though I be stone;
Until my tears, still dropping, wear
My breast, themselves engraving there.
There at my feet shalt thou be laid,
Of purest alabaster made;
For I would have thine image be
White as I can, though not as thee.

See you in class tomorrow. BE PREPARED!


  1. Mr.Marvell talks about the woman of this poem with fascination and lust. Also there are a couple of couplets and i think it has alternating rhyme.

  2. Both poems show how passionate Marvell is, and how he feels about woman and his surroundings. I noticed that he uses alot of couplets in the stanzas as well as at the end of the stanzas. I find the second poem a little bit more confusing then the first. But what I get from these poems, is that he has strong feelings about passion and love. He's also very expressive with words, and it's almost like you can feel what he's feeling. I think they made a movie about him I just forgot what it was called.

  3. I like the website that reads you the poem. It helps me understand the poems better and helps me me get a better sense of the tone/feelings of these poems.

  4. I like the website that reads you the poem. It helps me understand the poems better and helps me me get a better sense of the tone/feelings of these poems.

  5. I agree with Brittany's comment on how passionate Andrew Marvell wrote his poems. They were beautifully written and both had deep meanings to them.

    Andrew Marvell's first poem describes how much he loves and how passionate his feelings are towards this mistress. He compares his feelings using both physical and nonphysical things. The physical things he would compare his feelings to were how vegetables grow and how vast the empire has become. The nonphysical thing he compared his feelings to was time and how long they would last.

    Andrew Marvell's second poem talked about life and death. What he did was use a story to cover the deeper meaning of the poem. He left most of his stanzas "open" so he can continue his point. His point discusses how unfair life is and how death can come in an instant. In the first stanza he would ask the question 'Why' and introduce life. The following stanzas he continues on with sadness and death.

  6. The two poems best describe about how Andrew Marvell is passionate and how they have deep meanings into them. More than just an average written love poem, Marvell describes in the first poem about a woman he's deeply in love with. What I like is how he is able to compare his love to anything in that poem. What I like about Marvell's second poem is how he can explain about life and how it may not be what everyone would want their life to be.

  7. Metaphysical poetry is concerned with the whole experience of man, but the intelligence, learning and seriousness of the poets means that the poetry is about the profound areas of experience especially - about love, romantic and sensual; about man's relationship with God - the eternal perspective, and, to a less extent, about pleasure, learning and art. Metaphysical poems are lyric poems. They are brief but intense meditations, characterized by striking use of wit, irony and wordplay. Beneath the formal structure (of rhyme, metre and stanza) is the underlying (and often hardly less formal) structure of the poem's argument. Note that there may be two (or more) kinds of argument in a poem. In To His Coy Mistress the explicit argument (Marvell's request that the coy lady yield to his passion) is a stalking horse for the more serious argument about the transitoriness of pleasure. The outward levity conceals (barely) a deep seriousness of intent. You would be able to show how this theme of carpe diem (“seize the day”) is made clear in the third section of the poem if you were writing about it! Right?

  8. both poems had a strong and significant meaning but the first one stood out for me.By reading and analyzing the poem i felt the sense of power and persistance, putting the poem into my own word is just saying that no matter how many times you fall you will always pick urself up and no one is going to gin from your weak side.

  9. I found that I needed to listen over and over again to the poems in order to better understand them.
    In 'To His Coy Mistress,' Andrew Marvell praises his mistress as well as criticizes her for not accepting his advances. Time is a major theme in the poem, as shown through the lines "An hundred years should go to praise/ Thine eyes and on thy forehead gaze;/Two hundred to adore each breast;/But thirty thousand to the rest;" and "Time's wingèd chariot hurrying near." I also found some of the religious references in the poem amusing, as it refers to 'the Flood,' and the 'conversion of the Jews.'
    The second poem was more difficult for me than the first, but this poem is more of a metaphysical poem, as the first couple of stanzas connect to the theme of man and his relationship to God. Marvell also uses subtle references to connect the poem's theme of nature when he refers to Diana, the Roman goddess associated with hunting, and wildlife.

  10. the first poem expresses his love in similes and metaphors. I actually had to read both poems a few times to understand it. in the second poem, it was confusing because it seemed like the topic kept changing. I think he was talking about different loves of his.

  11. I had to re-read these like 3 or 4 times each! But I must say that i enjoyed the first one more than the second one. The second one is simply too long. It's almost like an epic poem. It's an entire story. The first one, however, is more clear and abstract. It's an invitation, a seduction. In my opinion it expresses lust more than love. Seems to me like he is just trying to get in her pants.I like the language because it gives the poem a sort of bluntness, but at the same time it is not entirely explicit. Nevertheless, I think the structure made it a little harder to read because it's not very fluent. Some of the couplets don't rhyme and that kind of throws me off.

  12. The poem "To His Coy Mistress" is truly an amazing peice of writting in which I cannot help but to tear to. Reading it right now I am truly in love with this beautiful Poem, sadly I have never heard of its writter before.

    Reading this poem makes me think of what love can truly accomplish within life. For example, when two people are in love, nothing will stop them from seeing one another. My favorite line that really amazed me was the last line: "Thus, though we cannot make our sunStand still, yet we will make him run." This line is so beautiful and powerful, it really sparks a light within me. I believe the writter wanted to inspire the person this poem is targeted to; to have sexual intercourse with. If a girl wrote this to me I would surley rip her clothes off right then and there and engage in those naughty acts. :)

    For the second Poem "The Nymph Complaining for
    the Death of her Fawn" im not really interested in it as much as the first poem. To me this poem has societys view of a man all over it. To explain, society back then pictured the man as a warrior and who fights for his food; I believe that is an ignorant view upon a man. What truly makes a man? Is it his strenght, or his heart? I believe it is his heart and kidness, not his will to survive (That is just the impression I have from reading this). I do enjoy the old Elizabethan slang, it is very beautiful. :)

    PS: I wou;d enjoy it if you read "To His Coy Mistress" outloud in class!

  13. My reading of "To His Coy Mistress" was worse than bad. I'm sorry. Please try to read the poem aloud tonight at home or elsewhere to yourself. Get into the habit of doing so, or if this is to frightening to those around you, hear yourself speaking the words to yourself expressively as you read the poem from print. Okay? Sorry for the poor performance Raymond.

  14. I had to read and hear both poems about 3 times each in order to actually having a better understanding of what the writer was trying to say. The first poem "To His Coy Mistress" is mostly expressing the writer's love towards his special woman. He uses a couple of couplets and similes to express his love more fluent and to help us understand his love. The second one "The Nymph Complaining for
    the Death of her Fawn" was just so long and confusing that it was not a pleasure to read nor listen to. I noticed that the writer uses a lot of couplets, but doesn't express himself as clearly as he did in the first one.

  15. To His Coy Mistress by Andrew Marvell is basically a warning to women against the inflated flattery used by men to bed them. I have to agree with Jeanette i had to reread the poem more than once."The Nymph Complaining for
    the Death of her Fawn" uses I noticed that he uses a lot of couplets in the stanzas. He also shows how passionate he really is.