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Classic Poetry from Passions in Poetry

Andrew Marvell 1621 - 1678

English poet. His early work had echoes of Cavalier poets like Lovelace and Cleveland, but he is now regarded as one of the best metaphysical poets. His finest poems include The Garden, Upon Appleton House, An Horatian Ode: Upon Cromwell's Return from Ireland. He wrote prose and verse satires which were the best before Dryden's, but are no longer well known. His reputation as a lyric poet is built on To His Coy Mistress, a classic in metaphysical poetry and ranked alongside the best secular poems of John Donne.


Well known in his time as a politician rather than as a poet, Marvell was born at Winstead, Yorkshire, and educated at Cambridge where he received his Batchelor of Arts degree in 1638. He travelled abroad from 1642-46 and later became the tutor of Mary Fairfax, daughter of Sir Thomas Fairfax who was Lord-General of the parliamentary forces. He also tutored Cromwell's ward, William Dutton, from 1653-57. He was then appointed as John Milton's assistant in the office of Latin Secretary for the Commonwealth. In 1659 he became Member of Parliament for Hull and served in that capacity until his death. Most of his serious work was only found and published after his death. He was seen as a champion of tolerance because he did not take sides in religion or politics during the civil unrest of his time. His reputation has grown steadily from that of being Milton's friend to that of a great poet in his own right.

Available Poems
The Definition of Love
The Fair Singer
The Garden
The Horatian Ode Upon Cromwell's Return from Ireland
The Mower to the Glow-Worms
The Nymph Complaining for the Death of Her Fawn
On a Drop of Dew
To His Coy Mistress

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