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date: 29 May 2020

Marvell and Nineteenth-Century Poetry: Wordsworth to Tennyson

Abstract and Keywords

Influence always leaves a wraith-like path, invisible to one person, transparent to another. The danger of reading-in is evident. This chapter proposes that Marvell’s influence on nineteenth-century poetry is manifold but frequently fugitive, now like centrifugal ripples in a still pond, now a sudden shower of meteors across the night sky. Nigel Smith reminds us that ‘The important point to remember is that Marvell was not unrecognized as a poet until the later nineteenth century, as has often been claimed’. Poets from Wordsworth to Tennyson are studied in relation to the nuanced ambivalence of Marvellian poetry; so too are critics and anthologists; so too is the range of poetic genres affected by Marvell’s influence.

Keywords: ambivalence, Coleridge, ode, Palgrave, pastoral, revolution, Tennyson, Wordsworth

Writing in The Examiner in 1816 on 18 February, Leigh Hunt comments, in the course of an acidic response to the publication of three sonnets on Waterloo by Wordsworth in John Scott’s The Champion on 4 February, that ‘Poetry has often been made the direct vehicle of politics’. This view, which he is happy to defend, clarifies the fact, as he sees it, that Wordsworth’s sonnets are serving as the ‘vehicle’ for a reactionary conservatism he deplores, and he declares that the battle of Waterloo

was won by the English literally speaking,—by that national spirit, character, and physical strength, which such politicians would have done away with long before this, had the precursors of MR. WORDSWORTH’s youth, the MILTONS and MARVELLS, suffered it.1

The reference suggests some dominant ways in which Marvell was thought about in 1816: as the companion of Milton, the ultimate embodiment of republican virtue for many writers of the period, as the champion of anti-tyrannical virtue, and, for Hunt, as the forerunner of Wordsworth’s own ‘youth’ when he favoured, in Shelley’s line, ‘Songs consecrate to truth and liberty’.2

What gives an especially sarcastic edge to Hunt’s attack is the fact that Wordsworth himself had gone on record as praising ‘Marvell the patriot’: the Whig hero revered for (p. 757) withstanding the encroachments of state coercion in matters of politics and religion. In an 1802 sonnet, Wordsworth begins:

  • Great Men have been among us; hands that penned
  • And tongues that uttered wisdom—better none:
  • The later Sidney, Marvel, Harrington,
  • Young Vane, and others who called Milton friend.3

As well as confirming how Wordsworth pronounced Marvell’s surname (stressing the first syllable), these terse, commanding iambics enrol Marvell in a list of ‘Great men’. He keeps excellent company, notably, the unfurling syntax makes us realize, with Milton for the second edition of whose Paradise Lost he wrote a commendatory poem. Alluding in its first line, ‘When I beheld the poet, blind yet bold’ (‘On Mr. Milton’s Paradise Lost’, 1), to the first line of Milton’s sonnet, ‘When I Consider how my Light is Spent’, the poem prefigures the allusive intricacy common in Romantic intertextual relations with Milton. Lucy Newlyn writes of seeking to ‘reintegrate the “negatively capable” Milton who has been suppressed’,4 and her comment stimulates awareness of how various are the legacies bequeathed by Milton’s ‘admiring and inflexible friend’, as Hunt calls Marvell.5

Hunt’s point about Waterloo being an ‘English’ victory might allude to the explicitly anti-French sentiment of Wordsworth’s poem. Its sestet lists the faults of the country with which England was at war. France, for Wordsworth, is a nation that embodied ‘Perpetual emptiness! unceasing change!’ and ‘equally a want of Books and Men!’6 The strain of xenophobia here is not absent from some of Marvell’s writing; his satire ‘The Character of Holland’ may be more ambiguous than is commonly allowed, but it was certainly read in the early nineteenth century as an exercise in droll ridicule and often though not always relished for the fun Marvell appeared to be having at the expense of the Dutch. Although William Hazlitt found ‘forced’ and ‘far-fetched’ Marvell’s ‘ridicule of the Hollanders’ in the line about the fish that ‘used to come to table with them, “And sat not as a meat, but as a guest”’,7 he is rebuked for this view by Leigh Hunt in 1846, who argues for the line’s humour.8

No one could accuse Wordsworth of excessive humour in ‘Great Men have been among us’, but the sonnet’s concern with the right kind of manliness may owe something (p. 758) to Marvell. The ‘Great Men’, including Marvell, are said to have ‘Taught us how rightfully a nation shone / In splendor: what strength was, that would not bend / But in magnanimous meekness’.9 The hint of an oxymoron in that final phrase—‘magnanimous meekness’—suggests an impulse to redefine or restate an ideal of masculinity, and, in its possible echo of ‘Magnanimous Despair’ (5) from ‘The Definition of Love’, the poem suggests the different forms of influence exhibited by nineteenth-century poets in relation to Marvell.

Influence always leaves a wraith-like path, invisible to one person, transparent to another. The danger of reading-in is evident. This chapter proposes that Marvell’s influence is manifold but frequently fugitive, now like centrifugal ripples in a still pond, now a sudden shower of meteors across the night sky. Nigel Smith reminds us that ‘The important point to remember is that Marvell was not unrecognized as a poet until the later nineteenth century, as has often been claimed’.10 Wordsworth’s interest in the poetry is evident from his transcription, probably dating from later 1802, of ‘An Horatian Ode, / Upon Cromwell’s Return from / Ireland. / By Andrew Marvell.’, as his version is headed. This copy of Marvell’s Ode, ‘in’, as John Worthen remarks, ‘his very best handwriting’,11 the lines grouped in separate stanzaic rather than continuous units, indicates that Wordsworth wished to study the poem attentively.12 His source has proved elusive. Marvell is not included in Robert Anderson’s anthology The Works of the British Poets, and Mark Reed writes that the ‘copy differs from what was probably the only available printed edition of the poems, that is Capt. Edward Thompson’s Poems of Marvell, 1776, in numerous accidents and one reflexive pronoun’; he speculates that the copy ‘may derive from the W[ordsworth]s’ contact with the L[amb]s in London’.13 Duncan Wu is less sure that Thompson did not supply the poem’s source, pointing out that ‘Lamb probably owned a copy of Thompson’s text by Sept. 1802’.14 Wordsworth follows Thompson’s ‘party-colour’d’ (106) rather than ‘parti-coloured’ in referring to the Scottish and, like Thompson, has ‘the sword’ for the more pointed standard reading ‘thy sword’ in line 116. In the first instance, the reading brings out Marvell’s punning interest in ‘party’. In the second, ‘the sword’ for ‘thy sword’ fractionally blunts the edge of the poem’s closing admonition, one of the finest moments in the ode when Cromwell is told—with a mixture of admiration and something not far off sorrow—to do what he cannot but do, that is, ‘March indefatigably on’ (114). Marvell’s greatness as a poet shows in the way in which the adverb dominates the line, implying the need to overcome fatigue that other mortals would feel. It overcomes feelings and thus brings them into (p. 759) play, rather as Wordsworth does when he faces down darker recognitions in his ‘Ode: Intimations of Immortality’, asserting, ‘The thought of our past years in me doth breed / Perpetual benedictions’ (136–7).

‘An Horatian Ode’ has recently been depicted as a poem of complex republican commitment. In a subtle, strenuously worded version of this view, Paul Hamilton claims that the final lines of the poem suggest ‘that its previous double-entrendres in portraying Cromwell were intended less to furnish criticism than to found a conspicuously new language whose artful agon strives for adequation with a new politics’.15 Wordsworth would have been sympathetic to such a reading, with its sense that the poet living at a time of revolution has, like the State itself, ‘to found a conspicuously new language’. At the same time, he must have picked up on the poem’s tonal elusiveness, evident to Hartley Coleridge, the son of Wordsworth’s closest poetic ally. Hartley Coleridge writes in the early 1830s of the ‘Ode’ as ‘so worded, that it may pass for a satire or an eulogy on the Protector’.16

The ‘Ode’ would have appealed to Wordsworth generically at a time when he and Coleridge were redefining the odal form in their dialogic exchanges in 1802 with the first four stanzas of Wordsworth’s ‘Ode: Intimations of Immortality’ and Coleridge’s ‘A Letter to —’, later revised and published as ‘Dejection: An Ode’. Marvell’s demonstration of the artistic and conceptual poise needed in turbulent times would have struck Wordsworth, too.17 Wordsworth had undergone a period of intense identification with revolutionary aspirations, only to experience subsequent disillusion. He, too, had lived though a regicide, the execution of the French king, Louis XVI, in January 1793, and would write in The Prelude (1805), book X, of ‘A conflict of sensations without name’ that he felt ‘When in the Congregation, bending all / To their great Father, prayers were offered up / Or praises for our Country’s Victories’: ‘our Country’s’, Wordsworth writes, yet as Jonathan Wordsworth notes, the congregation is ‘bending all to their great Father’ (italics are Jonathan Wordsworth’s).18

Wordsworth recalls his experience of withdrawal and inner division: ‘I only, like an uninvited Guest / Whom no one owned sate silent, shall I add, / Fed on the day of vengeance yet to come!’.19 He is able both to identify with and hold himself at a remove (p. 760) from his former self. As Jonathan Wordsworth points out, the ‘conflict of sensations without name’ includes feelings of guilt because the Romantic poet felt he was being disloyal to his country and, more shadowily, because he experienced ‘guilt by association for crimes in France’—on account of his earlier enthusiasm for the revolution.20 Marvell’s ‘Ode’ stops short of an overt expression of guilt, but Wordsworth may well have responded to its difficult balancing act as the utterance of a man with considered, unresolved emotions about epoch-defining change.

Marvell seems at times only to raise two cheers for the historical process that permitted Cromwell to ‘climb / To ruin the great work of time’ (33–4), where ‘climb’ cannot wholly erase a suggestion of something ruthlessly self-serving, and where ‘ruin’ is, if only for a flicker, unambiguously negative. As noted by commentators, Marvell uses the verb in a pejorative sense at the start of ‘The Second Chorus from Seneca’s Tragedy Thyestes’: ‘Climb at court for me that will / Tottering favour’s pinnacle; / All I seek is to lie still’ (1–3)—a triplet that compacts into itself strongly oppositional feelings. Smith is right to assert that, in biographical terms, ‘However it was constructed, the voice of retreat was for M[arvell] very much a stance’, but a poem is always, at some level, one might wish to reply, a ‘constructed stance’.21

The poem’s subsequent appeal to a different code of values, ‘Though Justice against Fate complain, / And plead the ancient rights in vain’ (37–8), may not be that of a closet royalist, but it would have resonated with Wordsworth in 1802. With Michel Beaupuy he discussed ‘the end / Of civil government, and its wisest forms, / Of ancient prejudice, and chartered rights’, where the context makes ‘ancient prejudice’ not necessarily a bad thing, though needing to be ‘Balanced’ against the claims of ‘novelty and change’.22 Wordsworth clarifies as well as changes his position when he revised ‘prejudice’ to ‘loyalty’ in the 1850 version.23 With its glimmer of a pun in ‘end’ (meaning purpose and termination) the Wordsworthian passage seeks to respond to the challenge of revolutionary change, weighing up alternatives rather in the manner of the poet of the ‘Horatian Ode’.

Above all, Wordsworth must have been fascinated by Marvell’s depiction of the poet’s role. ‘Tom May’s Death’ is concerned, as Smith puts, with ‘poetry itself, and the role of the poet as a commentator on public affairs’.24 That poem contains an inspiring view (supposedly voiced by Ben Jonson) of the poet’s role during a time of crisis, a role which Wordsworth was adopting and defining in 1802 in his political sonnets:

  • When the sword glitters o’er the judge’s head,
  • And fear has coward churchmen silencéd,
  • Then is the poet’s time, ’tis then he draws,
  • And single fights forsaken Virtue’s cause.
  • He, when the wheel of empire whirleth back,
  • (p. 761) And though the world’s disjointed axle crack,
  • Sings still of ancient rights and better times,
  • Seeks wretched good, arraigns successful times.


It is hard to think of a major Romantic poet who would not read in these stirring lines a definitive statement of the poet’s political purpose. The lines do more than state; they enact, through their verbal dynamics, the pressures placed on the poet, and the need, conveyed through the strong stresses governing the final two lines’ opening verbs, to speak truth to power. Brave and steady amid tumult, the passage offers one model for the poet.

Yet the ‘Horatian Ode’ is not able to take quite so assertive a position. Indeed, it opens with lines that one might imagine Wordsworth reading as a parody in advance of his own resistance to mere bookishness in ‘The Tables Turned’. Marvell writes:

  • The forward youth that would appear
  • Must now forsake his Muses dear,
  • Nor in the shadows sing
  • His numbers languishing:

  • ’Tis time to leave the books in dust,
  • And oil th’unused armour’s rust.


The lines may seem to question the ‘Muses dear’, but only to the degree that dabbling in rhyme is likely to damage the careerist chances of ‘The forward youth that would appear’. Marvell’s mercurial play of tone includes possible reserve towards youthful ambition; the reserve makes it hard (for this reader) not to side more with Cleanth Brooks who finds ‘ambiguity in the compliments paid’ to Cromwell, and his youthful surrogate, ‘The forward youth’, than with Douglas Bush, who finds Brooks opportunistically grasping ‘at a pejorative possibility’ in the meaning of ‘forward’.25 In The Excursion, Wordsworth’s Solitary criticizes the peremptory dismissal of ‘monastic Brotherhood’ that would once have issued from his ‘voice / Delivering her decisions from the seat / Of forward Youth’ (italics added). Such forwardness ‘scruples not to solve / Doubts, and determine questions’, driven by ‘inexperienced judgement’: faults one may safely suppose Wordsworth would not lay at the door of the ‘Ode’.26

Wordsworth and Coleridge show an evident attraction to the subtlety with which Marvell handles questions of ‘inexperience’ and innocence. Wordsworth’s poem to Hartley Coleridge, ‘To H. C., Six Years Old’, bears witness, despite the gender difference (Wordsworth is writing about Coleridge’s son, Marvell possibly about Theophila (p. 762) Cornewall), to his reading of Marvell’s ‘The Picture of Little T.C. in a Prospect of Flowers’. Both poets admire the children for their ‘simplicity’ (‘Picture of Little T.C.’, 1) and their capacity for play, their suspended state, ‘in a stream as clear as sky’ in Hartley’s case.27 Both poets express covert anxiety about the futures of the children. Moreover, the depiction of Hartley Coleridge as ‘A Dew-drop, which the morn brings forth’ ‘draws on’, as Newlyn points out, ‘Marvell’s “Orient Dew, / Shed from the Bosom of Morn”’ [sic] in his ‘On a Drop of Dew’.28 Wordsworth suggests there is matter for the reflexive ‘tear’ (3) into which Marvell’s drop of dew decorously forms itself, when he goes on to express his fears for what may become of Hartley who is, he hopes or prays, ‘Not doomed to jostle with unkindly shocks, / Or to be trailed along the soiling earth’ (27–9).

Thematically associated with ‘The Picture of Little T.C.’ in its fascination with the fate of innocent purity, Marvell’s ‘On a Drop of Dew’ also intrigued Wordsworth and Coleridge. Wordsworth included the poem in an album of verse that he prepared for Lady Lowther in 1819; in an introduction to a printed version of the album Harold Litterdale makes the pertinent point that ‘Marvell’s beautiful lines on the dewdrop show the great significance of Wordsworth’s remark somewhere that the sonnet should resemble a drop of dew’.29 The comment outlines how Marvell’s poem inspired a sense of formal as well as thematic possibilities in Wordsworth, who compares the ideal shape of the sonnet to ‘an orbicular body,—a sphere—or a dew drop’,30 often the consequence in his own writing, as Daniel Robinson notes in connection to ‘The world is too much with us’, of ‘enjambing the octave and sestet.31

Marvell, in poems such as ‘On a Drop of Dew’ and ‘The Coronet’, brings the sonnet form to mind in his changes of direction, use of point and counterpoint, while allowing himself greater space in which to develop his thought. Like Wordsworth in his copy of the poem for Lady Lowther, Coleridge, who copied the poem for Sara Hutchinson in 1807, leaves out the final four lines, present in both Thompson’s 1776 and Thomas Cooke’s 1726 texts. These lines compare the dewdrop to the ‘manna’s sacred dew’ (37) that was ‘Congealed on earth’ (39) but which, ‘dissolving’ (39), is able to ‘run / Into the glories of th’Almighty Sun’ (39–40): a rhyme cunningly reversed at the end of ‘To His Coy Mistress’. Coleridge omitted six lines at the close of his first published version of ‘Frost at Midnight’ in later volumes ‘because they destroy the rondo, and return upon itself of the Poem. Poems of this kind & length ought to be coiled with its’ tails round its’ head’.32 He may (p. 763) have responded to Marvell’s lyric in the same way. Certainly he enjoyed the lines that conclude the poem (entitled by him ‘A drop of Dew’), given here as he transcribed them:

  • How loose and easy hence to go,
  • How girt and ready to ascend—
  • Moving but on a point below
  • It all about does upwards bend!

Coleridge writes ‘delicious!’ in the margin beside the first two lines of this quatrain; the verse has a mellifluous ease that would have appealed to the ear of the creator of ‘The Eolian Harp’, ‘Kubla Khan’, and Christabel.33 His interest in Marvell’s diction, with its characteristic compactness, shows in his gloss on the phrase in the poem’s fifth line that he gives as ‘Round-in, itself’: ‘Round in; i.e. incloses itself round in—we sometimes say, “a thing rolls itself round up” S.T.C.’

With this transcription in mind, one might adumbrate a poetic dialogue between Coleridge and Marvell. ‘Kubla Khan’ finishes with an image of ‘honey-dew’ and ‘the milk of Paradise’; in chapter 4 of Biographia Literaria, as though again deploying Marvell’s image for the soul’s original purity, Coleridge praises Wordsworth’s poetry for re-endowing ‘the depth and height of the ideal world around forms, incidents, and situations, of which, for the common view, custom had bedimmed all the lustre, had dried up the sparkle and the dew drops’.34 The word ‘delicious’, used to praise Marvell’s lines, occurs frequently as a marker of sensuous and aesthetic delight in Coleridge’s conversational poems, though with complicating inflections. The Eolian harp in his poem of that title (first published in 1795 as ‘Effusion XXXV’) yields a ‘soft floating witchery of sound’ when ‘the long sequacious notes / Over delicious surges sink and rise’.35 Yet, at the close of the poem, this deliciousness is twinned with associative mental processes that receive ‘a mild reproof’ from the poet’s religiously orthodox partner.36 In ‘Reflections on Having Left a Place of Retirement’ (1797), Coleridge is critical of ineffectual visionaries ‘Who sigh for Wretchedness, yet shun the Wretched, / Nursing in some delicious solitude / Their slothful loves and dainty Sympathies!’37 Marvell’s ‘platonisme diffus’, as Pierre Legouis calls it, in ‘On a Drop of Dew’ also accompanies a double viewpoint; admiration for the soul’s purity alongside recognition of the fact that the human condition is, of necessity, one in which a considerable amount of heat and dust must be borne.38

Wordsworth gives more extended treatment to the theme of the soul in his ‘Ode: Intimations of Immortality from Recollections of Immortality’. This full title was not (p. 764) given to the poem until its printing in 1815. One wonders whether a prompt was supplied by ‘On a Drop of Dew’, which presents the spiritual meaning of its central emblem thus:

  • So the soul, that drop, that ray
  • Of the clear fountain of eternal day,
  • Could it within the human flower be seen,
  • Rememb’ring still its former height,
  • Shuns the swart leaves and blossoms green;
  • And, recollecting its own light,
  • Does, in its pure and circling thoughts, express
  • The greater heaven in an heaven less …


When in stanza 5 of his ‘Ode’ Wordsworth seeks answers to the yearning questions which conclude stanza 4, he turns to the Platonic myth of the soul’s pre-existence. He presents the soul as ‘trailing clouds of glory’ on its entrance into this world, yet he sees human beings as gradually succumbing to ‘the light of common day’.39 What comes to the poem’s and poet’s rescue are memories of early childhood experiences, ‘obstinate questionings / Of sense and outward things’.40 They supply the basis for ‘the faith that looks through death’ and are, for all their shadowiness, ‘the fountain light of all our day’, a phrase that trails Marvellian clouds as it echoes the earlier poet’s account of the soul as ‘that ray / Of the clear fountain of eternal day’.41 Marvell’s ‘eternal day’ is, arguably, more precisely focused than Wordsworth’s ‘all our day’; the ‘eternal day’ is, presumably ‘godhead’,42 whereas ‘all our day’ is the entire human condition. Still, both poets rely on ‘recollections’ or ‘recollecting’, and both bring into play all three meanings posited by Nigel Smith in his note on the word ‘recollecting’ in Marvell: ‘gathering again’, ‘remembering’, and, more mystically, the act of concentrating ‘in meditation’.43 Towards the end of his ‘Ode’. Wordsworth’s apostrophic address to ‘Fountains, Meadows, Hills and Groves’ evinces the serious playfulness apparent in the way in which Marvell has his Mower speak to ‘ye meadows, which have been / Companions of my thoughts more green’ (25–6).44 Wordsworth, if he has Marvell in his conscious or unconscious thoughts, is seeking to heal (‘Think not of any severing of our loves’) what in Marvell is an unmendable rift opened up between mind and world with the coming of Juliana.45

Marvell’s displays of what Keats, with Shakespeare in mind, calls ‘Negative Capability’ do not go unnoticed in the early nineteenth century.46 Leigh Hunt comments that ‘Glorious Andrew’s partisanship does not hinder his being of the party of all mankind, and doing justice to what was good in the most opposite characters. In a panegyric on (p. 765) Cromwell he has taken high gentlemanly occasion to record the dignity of the end of Charles the First’. Hunt goes on to praise the poem for its formal eloquence, commenting on ‘The emphatic cadence of this couplet,—Bow’d his comely head / Down, as upon a bed’ (italics are Hunt’s).47 Hazlitt had earlier, in his Lectures on the English Comic Writers (1819), singled out the same poem, straight after criticizing the poet’s satires for being stylistically ‘affected and involved’. Of the ‘Horatian Ode’, he writes:

There is a poem of Marvel’s on the death of King Charles I. which I have not seen, but which I have heard praised by one whose praise is never high but of the highest things, for the beauty and pathos, as well as generous frankness of the sentiments, coming, as they did, from a determined and incorruptible political foe.48

Hazlitt, according to Howe,49 has Charles Lamb in mind, an admirer of the ‘witty delicacy’ evident in ‘all’ Marvell’s ‘serious poetry’.50 Hazlitt was a staunchly republican figure, but he was also deeply committed to the idea of ‘disinterestedness’, for an instance of which Marvell’s lines on Charles would serve admirably, especially if the poem is read as essentially pro-Cromwellian.51 Lamb’s ‘witty delicacy’ is a phrase that describes well many aspects of Marvell’s non-satirical poetic practice: his ‘wit’ showing in the striking collocation of unlikely things, a man about to be beheaded likened to someone laying their head on a pillow; his ‘delicacy’ manifest in his refusal, among other things, to write a poetry with what Keats calls a ‘palpable design’ on its reader.52 Indeed, there is a direct line between Lamb’s phrase and T. S. Eliot’s famous formulation, in his essay on Marvell, of ‘wit’ as ‘a tough reasonableness beneath the slight lyric grace’.53

Eliot seems intent on exposing the difference between Marvell and the Romantics—‘You cannot find’ ‘wit’, as he defines it, in ‘Shelley or Keats or Wordsworth’—yet he writes that ‘in the verses of Marvell which have been quoted there is the making the familiar strange, and the strange familiar, which Coleridge attributed to good poetry’.54 The degree to which Marvell anticipates Romantic attitudes to nature has been debated in a number of places.55 William Bowles, influential for Coleridge’s poetry in particular, commented in his edition of Pope that ‘Marvel abounds with conceits and false thoughts, but some of the descriptive touches are picturesque and beautiful’. Thus, for Bowles, singling out passages that dwell on ‘access’ (17) and how the hill ‘all the field commands’ (p. 766) (25), Marvell is a forerunner of eighteenth-century descriptive poetry in ‘Upon the Hill and Grove at Bill-borrow’ (title as given by Bowles). Moreover, he writes: ‘Sometimes, Marvel observes little circumstances of rural nature with the eye and feeling of a true Poet’ and quotes the following lines from ‘Upon Appleton House’:

  • Then as I careless on the bed
  • Of gelid strawberries do tread,
  • And through the hazels thick, espy,
  • The hatching throstle’s shining eye.


‘The last circumstance’, Bowles comments, ‘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.’56 Bowles is speaking for a new generation of poets he helped to bring into being: poets such as Coleridge and Wordsworth, with their eye firmly trained on the particular. His view becomes relatively commonplace and is repeated by John Greenleaf Whittier, who argues, as Nigel Smith notes, that Marvell ‘had the eye and feeling of a true poet’ and was ‘a real lover of nature, and a witness of her beauties in her most solitary retirement’, that he was, in short, in Smith’s phrase, ‘a proto-Romantic’.57

E. W. Tayler, writing in 1964, argues that ‘Marvell’s Nature is not Wordsworth’s,’ and by extension the other Romantics’, ‘because the one is ordered where the other is spontaneous’.58 Yet Marvell is alert, as Tayler observes in a reading of the Mower poems, to the human ‘capacity both for harmony with, and alienation from, harmony’.59 Hauntingly aware of the degree to which the self can be ‘displaced’, he reveals, too, a delight in unpredictability, delight that is at odds with the seeming four- (or eight-)square solidity of the stanza form, Puttenham’s ‘squere or quadrange equaliter’.60 The Romantics would not have been wholly wrong had they sensed some collateral sympathies in their view of nature. There are continuities as well as distances between the Romantic and early modern views of the natural world, and of its ability to speak to the longing for ‘harmony’ and ‘fear of alienation’.

Nineteenth-century poets who invite comparative study with Marvell in relation to his presentation of nature include, after Wordsworth and Coleridge, Keats, B. W. Procter (‘Barry Cornwall’), and John Clare. Richard Marggraf Turley asserts that Cornwall’s ‘Spring’ and Keats’s ‘To Autumn’ ‘engage dialectically’ with Marvell’s ‘The Garden’.61 He comments thought-provokingly: ‘The dilemma addressed in “The Garden” anticipates (p. 767) that pondered by Keats and Cornwall—whether to face up, maturely, to political responsibilities, or to evade one’s duty as a liberal through indulgent retirement’.62 As Marggraf Turley remarks, Cornwall’s poem is ‘especially close’ to Marvell’s in its wording: his poem’s first line, with its reference to ‘sweet herbs and flowers alone’ ‘unmistakably echoes’ ‘the concluding line of “The Garden”’.63

For Marggraf Turley, ‘Keats is always attracted to the idea of remaining in Marvell’s pastoral realm of wonder and superabundance’.64 Later, Palgrave would include ‘The Garden’ in his Golden Treasury (1861), under the title ‘Thoughts in a Garden’, along with ‘Bermudas’ (in Palgrave ‘Song of the Emigrants in Bermuda’) and the ‘Horatian Ode. Timothy Raylor points out that ‘Bermudas’ was ‘widely-distributed’ in this form (including a sense-damaging swapping round of lines 7 and 8, and 8 and 9) and title, and that Archbishop Trench justified its exclusion from his 1868 anthology of poetry ‘on the grounds that it was so well known’.65 Palgrave expressed the view in Landscape in Poetry from Homer to Tennyson (1897) that, as paraphrased by Dan S. Collins, ‘“The Garden” represents the best of Marvell’s nature writing—a poem in which the intensity of feeling anticipates Shelley’.66 Marvell as a forerunner of both Keats and Shelley deserves consideration: ‘The Garden’, in its formal trajectory, returning to its point of departure after meditation on the contraries of human experience, might serve as a model for a Keatsian lyric; in Lisa Low’s words, in a finely attuned comparison between the two poets (and Wallace Stevens), Marvell’s poem ‘describes the same parabolic curve as the Romantic conversation lyric’.67 It is Keatsian too, in its sensuous riches: in their full-vowelled opulence of apprehension, the lines, ‘Rich apples drop about my head; / The luscious clusters of the vine / Upon my mouth do crush their vine’ (34–6), anticipate Keats’s longing for the ‘draft of vintage’ in the second stanza of the ‘Ode to a Nightingale’ and his subsequent imagining of ‘the blushful Hippocrene, / With beaded bubbles winking at the brim, / And purple-stainèd mouth’.68 There is a comparable quality of relish and, indeed, gusto in both poets.

Yet Marvell claims to be living a ‘wondrous life’ (33); Keats overtly expresses his longing for an alternative. Overt longing enters Marvell’s poem only in the jestingly misogynistic wish to be alone in paradise expressed at the close of stanza 8. The moment sends up a more rueful sense elsewhere in the poem that present contentment cannot last (the poet (p. 768) has not left ‘time’ (70) behind) and compensates for disappointments. Wistfulness may be faintly audible in Marvell’s earlier lines, ‘Fair Quiet, have I found thee here, / And Innocence, thy sister dear!’ (9–10), where the exclamation mark seems momentarily interchangeable with a wondering question mark. The pathos latent in Marvell’s lines associates itself with muted suggestions of the garden as an achieved refuge from ‘our passions’ heat’ (25), a phrase rhyming a little wryly with ‘best retreat’ (26). The garden offers ‘happiness’ (42), but to attain it there has been, necessarily, a ‘withdrawal’ (see 42). Pathos in Keats derives from a sense that he has been lured by his imagination, by poetry itself, into ‘faery lands forlorn’ that are entirely imaginary and from which he must return to his ‘sole self’.69

At the same time, both poets—and here may lie their deepest concord—are not poets who deal in simplistic oppositions. Marvell’s garden finally bears witness less to a place than to a mind that constructs an abode for its imagined powers. The poem sustains a vibrant consciousness of gains and losses. Throughout, it shows a complex linguistic awareness, as when it looks ahead to Romantic affirmations, speaking of ‘The mind, that ocean where each kind / Does straight its own resemblance find’ (43–4), wittily enacting its point through internal rhyme, before going on to assert in what, when all is said about the danger of blurring distinctions, is still an astonishing demonstration of the links between metaphysical and Romantic poetry:

  • Yet it creates, transcending these,
  • Far other worlds and other trees,
  • Annihilating all that’s made
  • To a green thought in a green shade.


That ‘green thought in a green shade’ represents in its monosyllabic simplicity reality as a thought sustained by a near-godlike mind, a mind inseparable from its manifestation in the poetic form of pastoral. Such absolute declarations are bold, yet are wholly without strain in Marvell, who moves on to the next stage of his garden experience with unruffled serenity. Keats is never quite able to be an amused yet involved spectator of his own conceptions in this way. Marvell affirms in a present tense that seems repeatable; ironies flow round and below his words (exactly how much of a triumph is it to convert ‘all that’s made’ into ‘a green thought in a green shade’?), but their demeanour remains unruffled. Keats dwells among existentially shadowed uncertainties, listening ‘Darkling’ in the sixth stanza of ‘Ode to a Nightingale’, remembering his longing for death, soliciting, retreating in the very moment of composition, or so it seems.70

Shelley, too, is brought to mind, as noticed above, by the Marvell of ‘The Garden’. If Keatsian sensuousness reveals affinities with Marvell’s, Shelley’s transcendent yearnings remind us of the seventeenth-century poet’s Platonism. Frank Kermode argues that ‘The poets of the Renaissance were profitably aware of the possible antitheses in Platonic (p. 769) theories of love.’71 Marvell is able, on Kermode’s reading, to ‘pass with ease from the libertine garden to the garden of the Platonic solitaire’. Shelley was sensitive to the variety of voices and views of love in Plato’s Symposium, which he translated, doing justice to that work’s array of voices, including Aristophanes’s wit, Agathon’s lyrical enthusiasm, and Diotima’s majestic instructions. Mary Shelley, in fact, refers in her preface to Shelley’s prose works, edited by her in 1840, to ‘The whole mechanism of the drama’ in Plato’s work, a ‘drama’ eloquently rendered by Shelley.72 Often regarded as a simple-minded Platonist always in pursuit of the One, Shelley is in fact a more nuanced reader of the Greek writer than his caricature allows. His theories of poetry, like his poetry, allow for the mutable as well as the unchanging, the ‘dome of many-coloured glass’ as well as ‘the white radiance of Eternity’.73 Even when seemingly indifferent to particulars, he needs them as the basis for the symbolic orchestrations of what in the first act of Prometheus Unbound, evoking the process of poetic composition, he calls ‘Forms more real than living man’.74 And his characteristic posture in Adonais, the conclusion of which is the most transcendentally pitched passage in his poetry, is to occupy an imagined space between this world and some ‘abode where the Eternal are’.75

Shelley, who knew seventeenth-century poetry well (apart from being steeped in Milton, he echoes Herrick in the opening of ‘The Flower that Smiles Today’), would have read and responded with keen interest to lines describing the soul as a ‘bird’ that ‘sits, and sings, / Then whets, and combs its silver wings; / And, till prepared for longer flight, / Waves in its plumes the various light’ (‘The Garden’, 53–6). For all Eliot’s summary judgement, in relation to Shelley’s fragment ‘To the Moon’, that ‘We should find it difficult to draw any useful comparison between these lines of Shelley and anything by Marvell’, there are significant connections between the two poets.76 ‘To the Moon’, with its distinction between a world-weary speaker and a natural object endowed with surmised feeling (‘pale for weariness / Of climbing heaven and gazing on the earth’), recalls Marvell’s strategy in ‘The Mower to the Glow-worms’.77 There, the speaker reads nature in the light of his obsessions, supposing that the glow-worms supply ‘courteous lights’ (13) out of concern for his well-being, much as Shelley half-ruefully (a tone Eliot ignores) sees the moon as mirroring ‘a joyless eye, / That finds no object worth its constancy’. Returning to the lines from stanza 6 of ‘The Garden’, one might comment on the rhyme between ‘flight’ and ‘light’ as one that Shelley employs to render quest in a densely cross-hatched stanza from Adonais. There, Shelley depicts ‘the one Spirit’s plastic stress’ as ‘Torturing th’unwilling dross that checks its flight / To its own likeness’ before he imagines (p. 770) it as ‘bursting’ ‘into the Heaven’s light’.78 The ‘varied light’, too, anticipates Shelley’s use of a similar adjective for comparable purposes at the outset of ‘Hymn to Intellectual Beauty’: ‘The awful shadow of some unseen Power /Floats though unseen amongst us—visiting / This various world’.79 In Queen Mab he asserts, a shaft of Platonic idealism entering the poem’s often materialist atmosphere, ‘Throughout this varied and eternal world / Soul is the only element’.80 The point is not that Shelley demonstrably echoes Marvell but that he works within a tradition or a repeated if varying pattern subsuming both poets; Shelley, like Marvell, writes of and about ‘the problems of an individual in an age of revolutionary change’.81

Aspects of the poetry of Shelley and Keats bear witness to the success with which, as Rodney Stenning Edgecombe notes, ‘Hunt pioneered the reinstatement of Marvell’s “strong and grave talent for poetry”’.82 In part, they show how Marvell’s poetry elicited generic transformations. The pastoral of ‘The Garden’ ultimately serves the conversion of pastoral elegy into lyric transcendence in Adonais. John Goodridge has shown how pastoral tropes of nature’s plenty, evident in Marvell’s ‘Bermudas’, in which God ‘makes the figs our mouths to meet, / And throws the melons at our feet’ (21–2), serve ironic ends in John Clare’s anti-enclosure poem ‘The Mores’. The lines in Clare to which Goodridge draws attention are these: ‘Mulberry bushes where the boy would run / To fill his hands with fruit—are grubbed & done’.83 The last four words banish pastoral idealization, yet preserve it, too, as in the kingdom of vanished value which is a poem or poetic tradition. In 1829 Clare told H. F. Cary, in the process of explaining how he had passed off a poem of his own four years earlier as one by Marvell, that he ‘had read that Marvell was a great advocate for liberty’.84 That notion accompanies an attuned reading of Marvell as a poet who shapes in sophisticated verse moments, possibly illusory, of a return to prelapsarian harmony. A comparable intimation is at work in Maria Jewsbury’s depiction of a figure, ‘Egeria’, modelled on Felicia Hemans, in terms that also derive from Marvell’s ‘Bermudas’: ‘Her voice was a sad, sweet melody, and her spirits reminded me of an old poet’s description of the orange-tree, with its “Golden lamps hid in a night of green”’.85 Jewsbury slightly misquotes Marvell’s couplet, ‘He hangs in shades the orange bright, / Like golden lamps in a green night’ (17–18), intensifying the idea of shading in ‘hid’ and turning Marvell’s adjectival use of ‘green’ into a noun as if the lines, with their brilliant, swift vividness, had spurred her imagination.

(p. 771) Marvell’s ability to kindle poetic imaginations in excitingly various ways is a theme that emerges from looking at his nineteenth-century reception. His significance as a wit and satirist is evident, and may, conceivably, have been an inspiration for Byron’s taunts and gibes at ‘The intellectual eunuch Castlereagh’ in the ‘Dedication’ to Don Juan. It is Milton whom Byron cannot imagine stooping to ‘obey’ Castlereagh, but Marvell frequently comes to writers’ minds when they think of Milton.86 Byron chooses as a rhyme word here a key verb from the ‘Horatian ode’ in which, by telling contrast and yet connection, the defeated Irish, for whose later plight in and after the 1798 uprising the Romantic poet holds Castlereagh responsible, are able to say of Cromwell ‘How fit he is to sway / That can so well obey’ (83–4). The unlikelihood that the Irish would have spoken in such terms has troubled commentators; Byron glances in his own deftly multi-levelled way at questions of ‘obedience’ and ‘sway’ mooted by Marvell.

The ‘Horatian Ode’ won Matthew Arnold’s admiration as ‘beautiful and vigorous’, a remark made when he sent a copy of Palgrave’s Golden Treasury containing the poem to the French critic C. A. Sainte-Beuve. It is tempting to imagine that his commendation of the volume’s ‘teneur fondamentale … which allows one to read it from one end to the other with no jarring of feeling by too violent transitions, too abrupt changes of subject’ is coloured by his immediately preceding praise of the ‘Horatian Ode’.87 Marvell becomes, on this reading, one of the exemplars of calm serenity in the midst of turbulence (Sophocles is another) to whom Arnold responds with an exalted sense of their superiority to his own self-division. Edgar Allan Poe, for his part, responds to the mixture of suppressed eroticism and pathos of Marvell’s ‘Nymph Complaining of the Death of Her Faun’. His absorbed reading singles out the poem’s ‘pathos, exquisitely delicate imagination and truthfulness’, and has time to remark, in some detail, on ‘the great variety of truthful and delicate thought’ in lines 63–92.88 Poe is especially acute, in ways that bear on his poetry’s and poetic theory’s blend of haunting passion and coldly fashioning artistic cunning, on the lines, ‘Had it lived long, it would have been / Lilies without—roses within’ (91–2), of which he writes: their ‘very hyperbole only renders them more true to nature when we consider the innocence, the artlessness, the enthusiasm, the passionate grief, and more passionate admiration of the bereaved child’.89 If it is true that his reading converts Marvell’s poem into a seventeenth-century simulacrum of his own poetic endeavours in a piece such as ‘Dream-Land’, this is only to say that the older poet served as a mirror, for Poe as for others, offering mobile and inspiring reflections for a ‘great variety’ of poetic effects.

William Empson, discussing his fifth type of ambiguity, suggestively links metaphysical and nineteenth-century poetry, and, in so doing, anticipates emphases in the present chapter. He seeks to ‘show how the later metaphysical poets came to take the conceit for granted, came to blur its sharp edge till they were writing something like (p. 772) nineteenth-century poetry’.90 Empson explores how a Marvellian poem such as ‘Eyes and Tears’ reveals an elusive multiplicity of meanings in, say, ‘all the jewels which we prize, / Melt in those pendants of the eyes’ (15–16). His virtuosic analysis of ‘Melt’ in those lines includes the senses ‘become of no account beside tears’ and ‘dissolve so they themselves become tears’, and swiftly sketches affinities with a nineteenth-century style which Empson finds in Shelley and Swinburne, a style that is swiftly suggestive, drawn to uncertainty, self-reflexiveness.91

Empson’s insight helps us understand more fully why and how Tennyson responds to Marvell. Both were ‘dendrophile poets’, as Christopher Ricks wittily observes, loving trees; in each poet trees provide shelter, refuge, much as poetic form and language serve to stylize yet crystallize thought and emotion.92 Tennyson’s ‘Tears, Idle Tears’, different from Marvell’s ‘Eyes and Tears’ in its greater openness to the je ne sais quoi of deep, ungraspable feeling, develops out of Marvell’s sense in, say, his poem’s fifth stanza

  • I have through every garden been,
  • Amongst the red, the white, the green;
  • And yet from all the flow’rs I saw,
  • No honey, but these tears could draw


that ‘tears’ are an ultimately puzzling reward for his poetic labours. Marvell’s urbane detachment passes into—melts into, one might say—Tennyson’s concern to evoke tears that lie too deep for thoughts (‘I know not what they mean’, the lyric’s speaker says in the first line).93 Tennyson was, reportedly, alert to the range of Marvell’s achievement, reciting from ‘Bermudas’ and ‘The Garden’, laughing ‘for half an hour’ at the satirical foolery of a line from ‘The Character of Holland’ (‘They, mad with labour, fish’d the land to shore’), ‘dwelling more than once,’ according to Palgrave, ‘on the magnificent hyperbole, the powerful union of pathos and humour’ in ‘To His Coy Mistress’.94 In his own combination of stillness and unrest, beauty of verbal contrivance and delicate richness of feeling, Tennyson demonstrates, at its most aesthetically poised, the powerful if often indirect influence exerted by Marvell’s poetry on many poets of the nineteenth century.


(1) In William Wordsworth: The Critical Heritage, ed. Robert Woof (London: Routledge, 2001), 924, 925.

(2) ‘To Wordsworth’, in Percy Bysshe Shelley: The Major Works, ed. Zachary Leader and Michael O’Neill (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2003), 91 (l. 12).

(3) William Wordsworth, ed. Stephen Gill (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2010), 245 (ll. 1–4).

(4) Lucy Newlyn, ‘Paradise Lost’ and the Romantic Reader (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1992), 5. For the view that the last line of Marvell’s poem with its mention of ‘number, weight, and measure’ (54)—and rhymed defence of lack of rhyme—lies behind Blake’s proverb ‘Bring out number, weight & measure in a year of dearth’ in The Marriage of Heaven and Hell, see Philip Cox, ‘Blake, Marvell, and Milton: A Possible Source for a Proverb of Hell’, N & Q, 38 (1991): 292–3. (Blake is quoted from Cox.)

(5) Leigh Hunt, ‘On the Latin Poems of Milton’, in Leigh Hunt’s Literary Criticism, ed. Lawrence Huston Houtchens and Carolyn Washburn Houtchens (New York: Columbia University Press, 1956), 195.

(6) William Wordsworth, 245 (ll. 11, 14).

(7) William Hazlitt, Lectures on the English Comic Writers (1819), in Andrew Marvell: The Critical Heritage, ed. Elizabeth Story Donno (London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1978), 133. Marvell’s line quoted from Donno.

(8) See Marvell: Critical Heritage, 138.

(9) William Wordsworth, 245 (ll. 7–9).

(10) Nigel Smith, Andrew Marvell: The Chameleon (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2010), 336.

(11) John Worthen, The Gang: Coleridge, the Hutchinsons and the Wordsworths in 1802 (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2001), 226.

(12) The notebook is in the Jerwood Centre, Grasmere, DCMS 38. The two readings and the title are quoted by permission of the Wordsworth Trust.

(13) Mark L. Reed, Wordsworth: The Chronology of the Middle Years (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1975), 642n.

(14) Duncan Wu, Wordsworth’s Reading, 1800–1815 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1995), 143.

(15) Paul Hamilton, ‘Andrew Marvell and Romantic Patriotism’, in Marvell and Liberty, ed. Warren Chernaik and Martin Dzelzainis (Basingstoke: Macmillan, 1999), 83; repr. with slightly different wording in Paul Hamilton, Metaromanticism: Aesthetics, Literature, Theory (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2003), 183.

(16) Hartley Coleridge, Biographia Borealis; or Lives of Distinguished Northerners (London: Whitaker and Treacher, 1833), 18.

(17) For an account of Wordsworth’s admiration for ‘the dialectic of action and passion, engagement and reflection’ in Marvell, see Frederick Burwick, ‘What Marvell’s Mower Does to the Meadow: Action and Reflection in Wordsworth and Marvell’, in Milton, the Metaphysicals, and the Romantics, ed. Lisa Low and Anthony John Harding (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1994), 172.

(18) William Wordsworth, The Prelude: The 1805 Text, ed. Ernest de Selincourt (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1970), 184 (book X, ll. 265, 268–70). Jonathan Wordsworth, William Wordsworth: The Borders of Vision (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1982; 1984 corr.), 255.

(19) Wordsworth, The Prelude, 1805, 184 (X, ll. 272–4).

(20) Wordsworth, The Borders of Vision, 255.

(21) PAM, 190.

(22) Wordsworth, The Prelude, 1805, 160 (IX, ll. 329–31, 338, 333).

(23) For the 1850 reading (9. 325), see The Prelude: 1799, 1805, 1850, ed. Jonathan Wordsworth, M. H. Abrams, and Stephen Gill (New York: Norton, 1979).

(24) PAM, 118.

(25) Brooks’s ‘Marvell’s Horatian Ode’ and Douglas Bush’s response in an essay with the same title in Andrew Marvell: A Critical Anthology, ed. John Carey (Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1969), 184, 200.

(26) William Wordsworth, 584 (book 3, ll. 400, 417–21).

(27) William Wordsworth, 223 (l. 9).

(28) William Wordsworth, 223 (l. 27). Lucy Newlyn, ‘The Little Actor and his Mock Apparel’, The Wordsworth Circle 14 (1983): 30–9 (32). Marvell’s lines are quoted as given by Newlyn.

(29) Poems and Extracts Chosen by William Wordsworth for an Album Presented to Lady Mary Lowther, Christmas 1819, intro. Harold Litterdale (London: Frowde, 1905), xii.

(30) The Letters of William and Dorothy Wordsworth: The Later Years, 2nd edn, ed. Alan G. Hill, 4 vols (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1978–86), 2.604–5.

(31) Daniel Robinson, ‘Wordsworth, Sonneteer’, in The Oxford Handbook of William Wordsworth, ed. Richard Gravil and Daniel Robinson (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2015), 293.

(32) Coleridge’s Poetry and Prose, ed. Nicholas Halmi, Paul Magnuson, and Raimonda Modiano (New York: Norton, 2004), 122–3.

(33) The transcription is in the Jerwood Centre, Grasmere, and has the shelfmark: ‘WLL / Coleridge, S.T. / 34’. Lines from this transcription along with Coleridge’s marginal comments are printed by permission of the Wordsworth Trust.

(34) Coleridge’s Poetry and Prose, 183 (ll. 53–4), 415.

(35) Coleridge’s Poetry and Prose, 18 (ll. 18–20).

(36) Coleridge’s Poetry and Prose, 19 (l. 41).

(37) Coleridge’s Poetry and Prose, 54 (ll. 57–9). Marvell speaks of ‘delicious solitude’, ‘The Garden’, 16; the word ‘delicious’ is glossed in PAM, 156n as ‘delightful’ and ‘highly pleasing to bodily senses’.

(38) Pierre Legouis, from ‘Marvell and the New Critics’ (1957), in Marvell, 271.

(39) William Wordsworth, 282 (ll. 64, 76).

(40) William Wordsworth, 284 (ll. 144–5).

(41) William Wordsworth, 284–5 (ll. 188, 154).

(42) The suggestion in PAM, 41n.

(43) Here I disagree with the relevant note in P&L, 1.244. Legouis dismisses ‘remembering’ as a possible meaning: ‘I think such fancied ambiguities distract the reader unnecessarily and unprofitably’.

(44) William Wordsworth, 285 (l. 190).

(45) William Wordsworth, 285 (l. 191).

(46) The Letters of John Keats, 1814–1821, ed. Hyder E. Rollins, 2 vols (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1958), 1.193.

(47) Leigh Hunt, extract from the Monthly Repository n.s. 1 (July 1837–8), in Marvell: Critical Heritage, 137.

(48) Marvell: Critical Heritage, 133.

(49) As noted in The Selected Writings of William Hazlitt, ed. Duncan Wu, 9 vols (London: Pickering & Chatto, 1998), 5.394n.

(50) Charles Lamb, ‘The Old Benchers of the Inner Temple’, in Marvell: Critical Heritage, 132.

(51) For Hazlitt and ‘disinterestedness’, see, inter alia, David Bromwich, Hazlitt: The Mind of a Critic (New York: Oxford University Press, 1983), esp. 46–57.

(52) Letters of John Keats, 1.224.

(53) T. S. Eliot, in Marvell: Critical Heritage, 364.

(54) Marvell: Critical Heritage, 364, 370.

(55) See the discussion in Burwick, ‘What Marvell’s Mower Does to The Meadow’, 180–2. Burwick acknowledges the distinctions made between Wordsworth and Marvell by previous critics, but he also draws attention to ‘what Wordsworth shares with Marvell’, 181.

(56) Marvell, 36, from which the indented lines from ‘Upon Appleton Huse’, and italics, are cited.

(57) PAM, 241; Smith cites Whittier from Marvell, 51.

(58) E. W. Tayler, ‘Marvell’s Garden of the Mind’, in Andrew Marvell: Poems: A Casebook, ed. Arthur Pollard (Basingstoke: Macmillan, 1980), 138.

(59) Tayler, ‘Marvell’s Garden of the Mind’, 137.

(60) The point is made in, and the quotation taken from, PAM, 215.

(61) Richard Marggraf Turley, Keats’s Boyish Imagination (London: Routledge, 2004), 44.

(62) Turley, Keats’s Boyish Imagination, 44.

(63) Turley, Keats’s Boyish Imagination, 45.

(64) Marggraf Turley, 45.

(65) Timothy Raylor, ‘The Instability of Andrew Marvell’s Bermudas’, in the Andrew Marvell Newsletter, 6 (2014): 3–12, 5. Raylor argues that the poem was simplistically treated in the Victorian period as ‘unproblematically propagandistic’, and that its ‘textual instability’ (6) in the period is both cause and symptom of this attitude.

(66) See Dan S. Collins, Andrew Marvell: A Reference Guide (Boston: Hall, 1981), 53, 68.

(67) Lisa Low, ‘Marvell through Keats and Stevens: The Early Modern Meditation Poem’, in Milton, the Metaphysicals, and Romanticism, 246. Richard Gravil sees the poem as ‘presciently Romantic and Keatsianly sensuous’, in Wordsworth’s Bardic Vocation, 2nd edn rev. and enlarged (Tirril: Humanities-Ebooks, 2015), 104.

(68) John Keats, The Complete Poems, ed. John Barnard, 3rd edn (1988; London: Penguin, 2006 minor corr.), 346 (ll. 11, 16–18).

(69) Keats, Complete Poems, 348 (ll. 70, 72).

(70) Keats, Complete Poems, 347 (l. 51).

(71) Frank Kermode, ‘The Argument of Marvell’s Garden’ (1952), in Marvell, 254.

(72) Percy Bysshe Shelley, Essays, Letters from Abroad, Translations and Fragments, ed. Mrs. Shelley, 2 vols (London: Moxon, 1840), 1.ix. See Michael O’Neill, ‘Emulating Plato: Shelley as Translator and Prose Poet’, in The Unfamiliar Shelley, ed. Alan M. Weinberg and Timothy Webb (Aldershot: Ashgate, 2009), 239–55.

(73) Percy Bysshe Shelley, The Major Works, ed. Zachary Leader and Michael O’Neill (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2003), 545 (Adonais, ll. 462–63).

(74) Shelley, Major Works, 256 (1.748).

(75) Shelley, Major Works, 545 (1.495).

(76) Marvell: Critical Heritage, 373.

(77) ‘To the Moon’ quoted from Marvell: Critical Heritage, 373 (ll. 1–2, 5–6).

(78) Shelley, Major Works, 542 (ll. 381–7).

(79) Shelley, Major Works, 114 (version A, ll. 1–3).

(80) Shelley, Major Works, 35 (4. ll. 139–40).

(81) Christopher Hill, from ‘Society and Andrew Marvell’, in Marvell, 99.

(82) Rodney Stenning Edgecombe, Leigh Hunt and the Poetry of Fancy (London and Toronto: Associated University Presses, 1994), 149–50.

(83) John Clare, Major Works, ed. Eric Robinson and David Powell (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1984), 168 (ll. 41–2). John Goodridge, John Clare and Community (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2013), 127–8.

(84) Marvell: Critical Heritage, 148.

(85) Felicia Hemans: Selected Poems, Letters, Reception Materials, ed. Susan J. Wolfson (Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 2000), 561 (for quotation and the identification of ‘Egeria’ with Hemans), 567 (for the identification of the Marvell allusion).

(86) Lord Byron, The Major Works, ed. Jerome J. McGann (1986; Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2008), 375 (ll. 87–8).

(87) Matthew Arnold, letter (in French), 31 December 1861, trans. in Marvell: Critical Heritage, 215.

(88) Edgar Allan Poe in Marvell: Critical Heritage, 164.

(89) Marvell: Critical Heritage, 165. Marvell’s lines quoted as in Marvell: Critical Heritage.

(90) William Empson, Seven Types of Ambiguity (1930: Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1961), 166.

(91) Empson, Seven Types, 172.

(92) Christopher Ricks, True Friendship: Geoffrey Hill, Anthony Hecht, and Robert Lowell Under the Sign of Eliot and Pound (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2010), 84.

(93) The Poems of Tennyson, ed. Christopher Ricks, 3 vols (Harlow: Longman, 1987), 2.232.

(94) Marvell: Critical Heritage, 246–7. Tennyson proposed emending ‘iron gates’ (44) to ‘iron grates’, the reading in Bodleian Library, MS. Eng. Poet d.49, See the discussion in PAM, 84, which prefers ‘gates’, the 1681 reading.