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Poetic "play" and man's dilemmas: studies in the poetry of Donne and Marvell Watson, Christopher John 1971

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WX1U POETIC "PLAT" AND MAN'S DILEMMAS: STUDIES IN THE POETRY OP DONNE; AND MARVELL by CHRISTOPHER JOHN WATSON B.A., University of Melbourne, 1964 A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILMENT OP THE REQUIREMENTS POR THE DEGREE OP DOCTOR OP PHILOSOPHY i n the Department of English We accept th i s thesis as conforming to the required standard THE UNIVERSITY OP BRITISH COLUMBIA November, 1971 In p r e s e n t i n g t h i s t h e s i s i n p a r t i a l f u l f i l m e n t o f the r e q u i r e m e n t s f o r an advanced degree a t the U n i v e r s i t y o f B r i t i s h C olumbia, I a g r e e t h a t the L i b r a r y s h a l l make i t f r e e l y a v a i l a b l e f o r r e f e r e n c e and Study. I f u r t h e r a g r e e t h a t p e r m i s s i o n f o r e x t e n s i v e c o p y i n g o f t h i s t h e s i s f o r s c h o l a r l y p u rposes may be g r a n t e d by the Head o f my Department or by h i s r e p r e s e n t a t i v e s . I t i s u n d e r s t o o d t h a t c o p y i n g or p u b l i c a t i o n o f t h i s t h e s i s f o r f i n a n c i a l g a i n s h a l l not be a l l o w e d w i t h o u t my w r i t t e n p e r m i s s i o n . Department o f English  The U n i v e r s i t y o f B r i t i s h Columbia Vancouver 8, Canada POETIC "PLAT" AND MAN'S DILEMMAS: STUDIES IN THE POETRY OP DONNE AND MARVELL ABSTRACT OP THESIS Donne and Marvell are renowned as 'witty' poets. The description i s invited by such habits as the use of extravagant imagery, the arguing of implausible positions, the s t r i k i n g of t h r e a t r i c a l poses which c a l l i n question t h e i r attitude to them-selves and to t h e i r stated views. These q u a l i t i e s appear not only i n t h e i r s l i g h t poems, but i n works that are demonstrably major, i n poems which, are weighty, perceptive, and passionately committed. The aim of thi s study i s to examine a number of th e i r major poems i n some d e t a i l to see how in t e g r a l t h e i r p l a y f u l q u a l i t i e s are i n establishing t h e i r f u l l meaning. A number of Marvell's shorter poems, "A Dialogue between the Soul and Body", the four "Mower" poems, and "To his Coy Mistress" look at fundamental human dilemmas. A r t f u l l y constructed situations and witty discussions provide parables for representative human problems, especially ones concerning the d i f f i c u l t i e s of growth and of action within a f i n i t e and mutable world. i i i In many of Donne's Songs and Sonnets, passionate declarations of love are made i n view of a r e a l i s t i c assess-ment of the apparently threatening conditions i n which that love must exist. Donne often sets the inevitable forces of change against lovers' desires f o r permanence, the existence of a world of public events against t h e i r desire f o r privacy. The forces of change and the invasion of privacy can prove paradoxically valuable, the very s p i r i t of playfulness and assertions of the physical a sign of man's s p i r i t u a l capacities. Three major poems by Marvell, "An Horatian Ode", "The Garden", and "Upon Appleton House" are especially concerned with the rel a t i v e merits of withdrawal from public l i f e and of commitment to public action. Working often by parody, Marvell considers the implications of various decisions. He raises questions about the r e l i a b i l i t y of human perceptions and the uncertainty of human knowledge, with some of the implications for the writing of poetry. Donne's most ambitious poem, The Second Armiversary. also questions the p o s s i b i l i t y of clear v i s i o n i n a world where true knowledge i s almost unattainable. Through the daring conceit of Elizabeth. Drury as a l i f e - g i v i n g , C h r i s t -l i k e figure, he questions the p o s s i b i l i t y of human perfection i n a f a l l e n world, and stri v e s p u b l i c l y f o r his own salvation. i v The playfulness i n these poems, while i t sometimes resembles conventional poetic habits, i s seen as part of the poets' response to important human dilemmas which they f e e l as t h e i r own. They are p a r t i c u l a r l y aware of man as subject to complex pressures of ' s p i r i t ' and 'flesh', and they ask whether personal i n t e g r i t y and fulfilment demand withdrawal from the world or commitment to action. To confront such paradoxes and problems, both poets seek to a l t e r men's perspectives. This involves a r a d i c a l d i s t o r t i o n of the usual habits of language and the images by which men-, comprehend t h e i r world. Their own poetry uses a variety of distorted images and propositions i n a way that suggests the nature and degree of t h e i r own commitments.. Christopher J . Watson TABLE OP CONTENTS Chapter Page I. STYLE AND THEMES IN DONNE AND MARVELL . . . . X I I . SOME PARABLES BY MARVELL 7 I I I . DONNE'S LOVE LYRICS 50 IV. WITHDRAWAL AND COMMITMENT IN MARVELL . . . . I l l V. THE SECOND ANNIVERSARY 165 VI. CONCLUSION 185 BIBLIOGRAPHY 190 CHAPTER I STYLE AND THEMES IN DONNE AND MARVELL In his l i t e r a r y epitaph f o r John Donne, Thomas Carew has spoken for many of John Donne1s readers: Here l i e s a Zing, that rul'd as hee thought f i t The universal Monarchy of wit; Here l i e two Plamens, and both these, the best, Apollo's f i r s t , at l a s t , the true Gods P r i e s t . The idea of Donne's r u l i n g a "Monarchy of wit" draws attention to a style of writing, and many readers comment on Donne's wit, on the ways he transforms the witty styles he i n h e r i t s from sixteenth century poets and i n turn influences other writers i n the seventeenth century. At the same time, Carew 1s tribute refers to more than s t y l i s t i c features, to more than Donne's ingenuity. Carew recognizes that Donne's importance has much to do with what he says, for being the p r i e s t either of Apollo or of the true G-od i s no t r i t e pastime. In t h i s , too, Carew speaks for other readers, those who emphasise Donne's themes, 2 and the way these anticipate those of l a t e r poets. H.J.C. Grierson's Cross Currents i n English Literature  of the XVIIth Century bears the alternative t i t l e , The World. "An Elegie upon the death of the Deane of Pauls, Dr. John Donne," 11. 95-98, i n The Poems of Thomas Carew. ed. Rhodes Dunlap (Oxford, 1964), p. 74. 2 Rather than merely l i s t names at present, I w i l l o f f e r examples of other c r i t i c a l responses when I come to examine the poems. 2 3 the Flesh & the S p i r i t . Their Actions & Reactions. Grierson discusses his theme i n r e l a t i o n to a number of writers, including Spenser, Shakespeare, and Milton. His s u b - t i t l e points to a recurrent theme i n the poetry of the century, a preoccupation by no means unique to that century, but f e l t very sharply during i t . Man was seen as a product of diverse and confusing tensions; writers responded i n various ways to t h i s sense of tension. Man appears as both brute and divine, as immortal i n his aspirations and mortal i n what he can achieve. The language for describing such a s i t u a t i o n w i l l often be that of 'soul' and 'body' or of ' s p i r i t ' and 'flesh'. In various contexts, both Donne and Marvell ask the question of what makes a man most f u l l y and valuably a l i v e , setting such a question against both a b e l i e f i n , and an experience of, man's duality. The terms i n which they express a 'belief* and those i n which they describe an experience do not always co-incide. Donne and Marvell do not experience t h i s duality, as some of t h e i r language might lead us to expect, as a simple contrast between man's body and his soul, or between a worth-less present world and all-valuable a f t e r l i f e . Many of t h e i r poems study man's sit u a t i o n as something more complex than t h i s . At times, as i n Marvell's "A Dialogue between the Soul and Body" or i n parts of Donne 1s Second Anniversary, they London, 1929. 3 pretend to believe i n a simple d u a l i s t i c account of man, then play the language of 'soul' and 'body' against other insights which show that dualism to be untenable. Poems l i k e "The Sunne Rising" or "To his Coy Mistress", without using the precise terms of ' s p i r i t ' and 'flesh', defend, even overstate, the paradoxical assertion that man's ' s p i r i t ' i s most wholly a l i v e i n a c t i v i t i e s that seem most ' f l e s h l y * . Or a poem may argue, as i n "The Garden" or parts of The Second Anniversary. that one kind of absolutist behaviour—withdrawing forever to a garden, or despising the f o u l w o r l d — i s best for man, only to play that argument against other observations that p l a i n l y challenge i t . This habit of playing insights and perspectives against each other, the tendency to pretend to a position while mocking or undermining i t i n some way, the w i l f u l - l o o k i n g and provocative extravagance of the treatment of some subjects or of the argu-ment of some po s i t i o n s — t h e s e q u a l i t i e s distinguish Donne and Marvell from poets l i k e Spenser, Shakespeare, and Milton whose works show very di f f e r e n t ways of responding to comparable 4 dilemmas i n man's sit u a t i o n . In t h i s d issertation I approach the 'playful' q u a l i t i e s of Donne and of Marvell against the background of t h e i r thematic This i s not to deny other differences, such as those noted i n E a r l Miner, The Metaphysical Mode from Donne to Co.wley (Princeton, N.J • » 4 preoccupations. We may discuss "Metaphysical wit" from various points of view, r e l a t i n g i t , f or example, to witty traditions 5 of Petrarchan poetry, or else, after Dr Johnson's L i f e of  Cowley, looking to conceits, to such t r a i t s as "a combination of d i s s i m i l a r images, or discovery of occult resemblances i n things apparently unlike." Donne obviously shares the r h e t o r i c a l t r i c k s of his sixteenth-century predecessors and passes on his variants of those s k i l l s to those who come after him. Yet a preoccupation with these matters, important though they are, can e a s i l y carry us away from recognizing how and why his poetry i s s i g n i f i c a n t . J.B. Leishman adapts Carew's phrase, "Monarchy of wit", yet his tendency, unlike Carew's, i s to see Donne's wit as 7 fundamentally d e b i l i t a t i n g . This comparison from his study of Shakespeare's Sonnets i s a good i l l u s t r a t i o n of his attitude: To 'vent wit' was always one of Donne's keenest pleasures and most besetting temptations, and even i n the poems I have mentioned £"The good-morrow", "The Canonization", Donald L. G-uss, i n John Donne. Petrarchist (Detroit, 1966), brings t h i s l i n e of enquiry to i t s most substantial expression. 6 L i v e s of the Poets (London, 1952), I, 14. ^J.B. Leishman, The Monarch of Wit, 6th ed. (London, 1962). 5 and "The Sunne Rising " J I am not sure whether th i s rather than, as with Shakespeare, a profound conviction, was not the main source of his inspiration.8 This approach suggests a natural tendency i n our response to Donne, fo r we are quick to distinguish the 'playful' from what seems indeed 'serious'. For Donne, i t seems, often follows through extraordinary notions f o r sheer pleasure. Both Dr Johnson and J.B. Leishman have every reason to worry about th i s feature of Donne. I wish to argue, however, that 'venting wit 1 i s not necessarily incompatible with working out a profound conviction, that indeed such a habit may be a way of c l a r i f y i n g that conviction. This argument also applies to Marvell. To explicate a poem such as "The Garden" as i f i t were not a l i g h t and witty poem i s to belie i t s tone and thus i t s meaning. Yet "The Garden" i s indeed substantial enough to bear a good deal of learned commentary on i t s 'ideas'. What our c r i t i c a l accounts should do i s to explain why those 'ideas 1 have the p a r t i c u l a r embodiment we find i n the poem, and what effect the manner of writing has on the 'argument' that i s being offered. The studies of poems that I s h a l l o f f e r are i n response to such issues as these. I w i l l relate s t y l i s t i c features to the themes, notably those I b r i e f l y suggested e a r l i e r , always J.B. Leishman, Themes and Variations i n Shakespeare's  Sonnets, 2nd ed. (London, 1963), p. 222. 6 mindful of our natural tendency to separate 'form* from 'content*, and attempt to see i f i t i s more than a c r i t i c a l truism to claim that no true gap exists between the things the poet says and the way he says them. In so doing, I hope to recapture something of the ease with which Carew can praise Donne both as "King" i n the "Monarchy of wit" and as "two Plamens", without any sense of the one contra-d i c t i n g the other. And i f we can do t h i s f o r Donne as well as Marvell, we should be i n a position to recognize better the q u a l i t i e s of other poetry, especially of the seventeenth century. 7 CHAPTER II SOME PARABLES BY MARVELL I We are onely that amphibious piece betweene a corporall and s p i r i t u a l l essence, that middle forme that linkes those two together, and makes good the method of God and nature, that jumps not from extreames, but unites the incompatible distances by some middle and p a r t i c i p a t i n g natures . . . » Thus i s man that true and great Anrphibium. whose nature i s disposed to l i v e not onely l i k e creatures i n diverse ele-ments, but i n divided and distinguished worlds . . . .1 In thus voicing his sense of man's disunity, S i r Thomas Browne spoke fo r many contemporaries as well as f o r himself. One t r a d i t i o n a l way of describing t h i s disunity, the language of 'soul 1 and 'body', appears often i n the poetry of Donne and of Marvell. Both poets recognize that man i s both u n i f i e d and chaotic, that his various impulses may work i n harmony—as, i d e a l l y , i n the deceased Elizabeth Drury, who anticipated such harmony even on earth—but are more l i k e l y to pull'him i n c o n f l i c t i n g d i r e c t i o n s . They recognize too that 'body1 and 'soul' are h e l p f u l words fo r discussing t h i s condition only i f we are aware that they are not separate objects but a metaphorical way of representing the c o n f l i c t i n g elements i n man. S i r Thomas Browne, Religio Medici. I, 34, i n The Prose  of S i r Thomas Browne. ed. Norman Endicott (New York, 1968), pp. 41-42. 8 Often i n the poems of Donne or Marvell, we find the poet speaking of the soul and body as quite d i s t i n c t things, while playing that way of speaking against other images or ideas which stress man's unity. The interplay of a language of dissociation and a language of unity takes a r e l a t i v e l y simple form i n Marvell's "A Dialogue between the Soul and Body". This poem stands i n a t r a d i t i o n of 'Body-Soul' dialogue poems, and adopts the t r a d i t i o n a l view that body and soul are 2 discrete and h o s t i l e things. But that view i s q u a l i f i e d by the poem's insistence that the two are united intimately. While the poem i s b u i l t on the obvious pretence that body and soul can speak, that pretence i s played against the unspoken fact that 'soul' and 'body' exist only as parts of the one person, that the dispute i s a comic dramatization of any man's s t r i v i n g for peace and harmony within himself. Much of the poem's effect comes from showing how grotesque i t i s to think of man either as a 'manacled' soul or as a tyrannized body. The images he puts into the mouths of his speakers keep verging on the grotesque, and the laments See J.B. Leishman, The Art of Marvell's Poetry. 2nd ed. (London, 1968), pp. 209-218, for a discussion of the poem i n r e l a t i o n to i t s t r a d i t i o n . See also K i t t y Scoular Datta, "New Light on Marvell's 'A Dialogue between the Soul and Body'," Ren Q. XXII (1969), 242-255. 9 become comic. Yet neither can we describe the poem as 'comic' and leave i t at that, f o r the poem does give a sense of the anguish and pain of man's position, even i f the 'Soul-Body* way of 'naming' that tension i s shown to be inadequate. One eff e c t of the use of a 'debate' form i s that each speaker s t r i v e s to make winning points i n a sharp and concise manner. We fin d that each speech tends to become a series of i n c i s i v e epigrams. A recurrent quality of these epigrams i s t h e i r insistence on some paradox; the wit keeps coming from t h e i r completely unexpected way of putting things, t h e i r reversal not only of expected values and judgments, but of the usual way of describing things. Early i n the poem, the Soul describes i t s e l f thus: With bolts of Bones, that f e t t e r ' d stands In Feet; and manacled i n Hands. In a 'normal' prison, the feet themselves would be fettered, the hands manacled, points emphasised by the etymology of "fetter'd" and "manacled" and by the way the syntax balances "feet" and "fetter'd", "manacled" and "Hands" against each other. The apparently awkward, but cleverl y metrical, structure of the sounds emphasises that the poem i s to some extent joking, but i t i s also a dramatically e f f e c t i v e sign of the soul's own sense of i t s contorted position. In other words, we have poetry that i s playing a game, but using that game to underline some ideas, especially the paradoxical relations between the soul 10 and body, which i n -turn implies the paradoxical nature of man. The epigrammatic manner often encourages a fusion of metaphors. The Soul complains that i ^ i s : Constrain'd not only to indure Diseases, but, what's worse, the Cure: And ready oft the Port to gain, Am Shipwrackt into Health again. The force i n these l i n e s derives e s p e c i a l l y from the word, "Shipwrackt". Marvell takes a t r a d i t i o n a l image of the passage from l i f e through death as a voyage, and by merging t h i s with a d i f f e r e n t kind of language, that of "Cure" and "Health", can o f f e r a s t a r t l i n g new notion. Further, the word "gain", derived from the world of commerce^-?being con-veniehtly part of an idiomatic expression about s e a f a r i n g — i s woven i n with these to stress the paradoxical point, f a m i l i a r to a Marvell reader, that what we see as 'loss* may also be seen as 'gain'. The fusion of metaphors, made possible by the p l a y f u l and epigrammatic manner, establishes Marvell's insights e f f e c t i v e l y and emphatically. Often i n t h i s poem, images the speakers o f f e r f o r one p a r t i c u l a r purpose prove to have "unintended" sign i f i c a n c e . Language that seems to the Soul or the Body r h e t o r i c a l l y e f f e c t i v e f o r establishing the f a c t of bondage serves to show 11 that i f bondage exists, i t can hardly be spoken of so simply. The Soul sees i t s e l f as: A Soul hung up, as 'twere, i n Chains Of Nerves, and Arteries, and Veins. Tortur'd, besides each other part, In a vain Head, and double Heart. 3 As the analysis by Dr Leavis reminds us, the language i s defining, as f a r as i t can, a complex group of tensions within man. The Soul, for example, would share as much re s p o n s i b i l i t y f o r "a vain Head" as the Body does. The point I wish to stress here i s the way i n which the comic pretence on which the whole poem i s structured allows the necessary play of language. In t h i s case, the accumulation of things that threaten the "Soul" emphasises the many and various aspects of human nature, while setting these against the simple Soul-Body d i s t i n c t i o n highlights the d i f f i c u l t y of specifying which 'part' of us does which. The theme of gain and loss appears most t e l l i n g l y i n the f i n a l speech of the poem, where the Body considers the price paid for man's advance beyond the b e s t i a l . That argu-ment culminates i n these l i n e s : What but a Soul could have the wit To build me up for Sin so f i t ? So Architects do square and hew, Green Trees that i n the Forest grew. F.R. Leavis, "The Responsible C r i t i c : or the function of c r i t i c i s m at any time", i n Scrutiny. XIX (Spring 1953), 162-183. As often, Marvell looks to things of the 'natural world', (trees, plants, grass, and the l i k e ) , and to the r e l a t i o n between man and that 'nature', f o r images of man's own condition. The very existence of man as a c i v i l i s e d creature demands that green trees should be cut down and shaped i n accordance with men's plans. So too, man, to be more than a beast, must have 'wit' to govern unreflective and i n s t i n c t u a l desires. The price of t h i s growth i s that he also has the power to s i n , to harm himself, to suffer the things that the Body has l i s t e d i n this f i n a l speech: The Pestilence of Love does heat: Or Hatred's hidden Ulcer eat. Joy's chearful Madness does perplex: Or Sorrow's other Madness vex. Such perplexity and vexation would be done away with only at the cost of our humanity. Painful though th i s humanity may be at times, the poem represents i t as fundamentally desirable and a t t r a c t i v e . I f we should see, i n the strong and physical images of the f i r s t stanza or i n the Body's f i n a l word i n the l a s t , Marvell's preference f o r the primacy of the Body, we have missed the point and f a i l e d to understand the game. Marvell may indeed be an innovator i n the "Soul-Body dialogue" t r a d i t i o n by allowing so strong a l a s t word to the Body, but h i s s i g n i f i c a n t innovation i s that he i s 13 so good a poet as to transcend the conceptual framework of that t r a d i t i o n . Bones, feet, hands, eyes, and ears are a necessary part of man and i t i s absurd for him to imagine otherwise except as a game. Yet these 'fleshly' things do suggest his l i m i t s , his dependence on vulnerable organs that can do only so much and which one day must decay. The poem shows an awareness of the gap that exists between what man aspires to and what he can achieve. In t h i s , i t i s chara c t e r i s t i c of i t s age. But the f a i l u r e to l i v e up to these aspirations may be as much due to "the Palsie Shakes of Pear" as to "Bolts of Bones"; i t may with equal justice be blamed on 'body' or 'soul*. The a b i l i t y to explore that fact about the gap i s one reason why such poets as Donne and Marvell are so impor-tant and outstanding. II Marvell*s four "Mower" poems, "The Mower against Gardens", "Damon the Mower", "The Mower to the Glo-Worms", and "The Mower's Song", bring a new kind of seriousness to a minor poetic 'kind', the pastoral. Other c r i t i c s , notably 14 4 Joseph H. Summers, nave pointed to the novelty and the significance of using a mower rather than a shepherd as the central figure i n a pastoral l y r i c . But the extent of Marvell's innovation i s worth further study, for these poems, especially "The Mower's Song", are more complex than i s usually recognized, and t h e i r methods, character-i s t i c of Marvell, are s i g n i f i c a n t f o r my thesis. In p a r t i c u l a r , an adequate account of them must t r y to assess the effect of t h e i r lightness upon the force of the things they are 'saying*. We cannot be certain that these poems were grouped by Marvell rather than by t h e i r f i r s t publisher. Certainly the figure of the Mower, although i t a l t e r s , brings them naturally together, and the presence by name of Juliana i n a l l but "The Mower against Gardens" implies that i n these at least the Mower i s the same man. In any case, the poems do belong together i n more than a s u p e r f i c i a l sense, and i n comparing them, we can trace important s i m i l a r i t i e s of method, or else differences that suggest something l i k e an evolving grasp of what exactly Marvell wanted to do with his Mower. ^Joseph H. Summers, "Marvell 1 s 'Nature'," ELH, XX (1953), 121-135. See also Introduct ion to Andrew Marvell: Selected Poetry, ed. Prank Kermode (New York, 196771 pp. xix-xx. 15 A peculiar challenge of these four poems i s th e i r own insistence that they are s l i g h t poems. The hero i n each i s cast i n the role of a simple r u s t i c . In "The Mower against Gardens", the Mower refuses to make any positive response to c i v i l i z a t i o n . In "The Mower to the Glo-Worms", the Mower i n s i s t s on the slightness of his own sphere of a c t i v i t y : Ye Country Comets, that portend No War, nor Princes funeral, Shining unto no higher end Then to presage the Grasses f a l l . In none of the poems does the hero display the witty and sophisticated i n t e l l i g e n c e that marks Donne's poetry or much of Marvell's, especially when Marvell speaks i n his own voice. Indeed, part of the wit i n "Damon the Mower" depends on a contrast between the simple Mower and the clever Marvell. More s i g n i f i c a n t l y , "The Mower against Gardens", which offers the w i t t i e s t Mower of any of the group, i s , I s h a l l argue below, the weakest poem of the four. The poetic power becomes stronger, and more subtle, when 'conscious' wit i s much less obvious. "The Mower against Gardens" has inspired more commentary than the other 'Mower' poems. Prank Kermode's introductory comments on the mower, i n the selection mentioned above, devote f i v e pages to "The Mower against Gardens" and dismiss the other 'Mower' poems with f a i n t 16 praise i n a short paragraph that begins with the remark that "the other Mower poems are at least proof of the poet's power, so highly valued and so valuable, to detect novelty i n old situations." (xx). A recent a r t i c l e on Marvell's views of nature and art selects only "The Mower against Gardens" for 5 extensive commentary. This s i t u a t i o n i s understandable, but regrettable. "The Mower against Gardens" i s the poem to choose f o r e x p l i c i t statements on art and nature, yet this e x p l i c i t -ness also becomes i t s l i m i t a t i o n . In a manner s i m i l a r to that of Milton's "L 1Allegro" or "II Penseroso", i t takes up an extreme position on one side of a rather a r t i f i c i a l debate. Regardless of the fact that his own job involves continual interference with nature, t h i s Mower, i n objecting to Gardens, regards man's interference with natural processes as a sign of his f a l l e n state. He does th i s i n an argument that shows surprising wit and erudition, and offers, con-sidering whom he i s supposed to be, surprisingly sophisticated comparisons and images: Nicholas A. Salerno, "Andrew Marvell and the Puror  Hortensis". SEL, VIII (Winter 1968), 103-120. 17 The Pink grew then as double as his Mind; The nutriment did change the kind. With strange perfumes he did the Roses t a i n t . And Flow'rs themselves were taught to paint. The Tulip, white, did for complexion seek; And learn'd to i n t e r l i n e i t s cheek: Its Onion root they then so high did hold, That one was for a Meadow sold. Another World was search'd, through Oceans new, To f i n d the Marvel of Peru. The wit of the Mower's diatribe comes through as that of a r e l a t i v e l y complacent s a t i r i s t who directs his scorn at the perversions of c i v i l i z a t i o n and celebrates the pastoral l i f e and i t s advantages: ' Tis a l l enf ore ' d; the Fountain and the G-rot; While the sweet Fi e l d s do lye forgot: Where w i l l i n g Nature does to a l l dispence A wild and fragrant Innocence: And Fauns and Faryes do the Meadows t i l l , More by t h e i r presence then t h e i r s k i l l . Their Statues polish'd by some ancient hand, May to adorn the Gardens stand: But howso'ere the Figures so excel, The Gods themselves with us do dwell. As a contribution to the furor hortensis of the seventeenth century, the poem succeeds admirably. I t allows a strong statement of one position, and by i n f l a t i n g such q u a l i t i e s as the Mower's moral seriousness, by balancing the fury of his charges with the pleasant grace of the rhythms, i t suggests the l i m i t s of that position. For the Mower's case i s rather absurd, and Marvell achieves much of his success by l i g h t l y playing with that absurdity: 18 Luxurious Man, to bring his Vice i n use, Did a f t e r him the World seduce: And from the f i e l d s the Flow'rs and Plants a l l u r e , Where Nature was most p l a i n and pure. This insistence on the e v i l behaviour of man i s almost grotesque, and the poetry b e l i t t l e s t h i s account of a pastoral position, without e x p l i c i t l y arguing against i t . We see i n t h i s poem a f a i r l y simple use of a technique of dual perspective that i s developed through-out the 'Mower1 poems. The Mower does a l l the speaking, but he i s placed, also, i n the poem as a figure to be judged. The Mower's own playfulness, here appearing as the wit of the secure and simple-minded s a t i r i s t , i s complemented by the playfulness of the poet, mocking his speaker through his rhythms and through the implications of his language. The Mower appears i n thi s poem as a l i t e r a r y mask not f u l l y realized and inconsistently handled, i n the re l a t i o n between what he says and what he i s supposed to be. The Mower of any other poem i n the group i s more dramatically r e a l , the voice i s more t r u l y his own; he i s less portentous and solemn i n manner, but reveals insights more subtle than any i n "The Mower against Gardens"; he draws more heavily, too, on pastoral 19 assumptions and on the implications of h i s own job, yet over-throws some of those assumptions more e f f e c t i v e l y than does Marvell*s i m p l i c i t mockery i n "The Mower against Gardens". I l l "Damon the Mower" i s the only one of the "Mower" poems where the dual perspective, using both the Mower's view of things and Marvell's, i s formalized by the use of two di f f e r e n t speaking voices. We f i n d Marvell standing out-side the figure and the s i t u a t i o n as a superior person, free of c o n f l i c t , knowing more than his simple r u s t i c hero. Marvell parodies the Mower's response to Juliana as with mock solemnity he introduces his hero: Heark how the Mower Damon Sung, With love of Juliana stung1 While ev'ry thing did seem to paint The Scene more f i t f o r h i s complaint. Like her f a i r Eyes the day was f a i r ; But scorching l i k e his am'rous Care. Sharp l i k e his Sythe his Sorrow was, And wither'd l i k e his Hopes the Grass. This person i s made to resemble a parody of an Elizabethan courtly lover as he finds ludicrous likenesses for h i s own state. Indeed, when he speaks i n his own voice, the In some respects, both i n rhythms and situation,, the poem i s almost a parody of such ' l i t e r a r y pastoral' poems as Pulke Greville's Caelica LXXV. 20 Mower appears even more as a pastoral equivalent of the courtly lover: Not July causeth these Extremes, But J u l i a n a 1 s scorching beams. Alas! I look f o r Ease i n vain, When Remedies themselves complain. No moisture but my Tears do rest, Nor Cold but i n her Icy Breast. In the l a t t e r part of the poem, however, the Mower takes on a more interesting part, especially when Marvell begins to consider the implications of his job as a way of imaging the Mower's own state, and indeed man's state generally. During the Mower's boasting, we are offered a contrast between him and the Shepherd: What, though the piping Shepherd stock The plains with an unnum'red Flock, This Sithe of mine discovers wide More ground then a l l his Sheep do hide. With t h i s the golden fleece I shear Of a l l these Closes ev'ry Tear. And though i n Wooll more poor then they, Tet am I r i c h e r f a r i n Hay. Joseph H. Summers, i n the above-mentioned a r t i c l e , notes that a mower i s a more complex figure f o r the pastoral poet than i s the shepherd. The Mower here works upon his surroundings i n an a c t i v i t y that i s apparently destructive, yet produces r i c h rewards, of "golden fleece" and "Hay". In fact, the recurrence of such wealth "ev'ry year" depends 21 on the Mower's a c t i v i t y , an important point which Summers and other c r i t i c s h ave not stressed. This fact about agriculture becomes especially important i n "The Mower's Song". A l i t t l e l a t e r i n the poem, the e a r l i e r association of "his Sythe" and "his Sorrow" recurs, t h i s time i n li-toee spoken by the Mower himself: How happy might I s t i l l have mow'd, Had not Love here h i s Thistles sow'di But now I a l l the day complain, Joyning my Labour to my Pain; And with my Sythe cut down the Grass, Yet s t i l l my Grief i s where i t was; But, when the Iron blunter grows, Sighing I whet my Sythe and Woes. Given th i s association, we well.may wonder i f the woes are as paradoxically productive as the scythe proves to be. But Damon does not see t h i s ; indeed, the scythe, l i k e the woes of love can be used wrongly to cause s e l f - i n j u r y : While thus he threw h i s elbow round, Depopulating a l l the Ground, And, with his whistling Sythe, does cut Each stroke between the Earth and Root, The edged Stele by careless chance Did into his own Ankle glance; And there among the Grass f e l l down, By his own Sythe, the Mower mown. Both scythe and love's woes may be f r u i t f u l , but only i f one knows how to handle them. 22 We fin d i n "Damon the Mower" a series of hints and implications that are neither recognized nor developed by the Mower, and that are only subtly referred to by Marvell himself. The play on the Mower's words depends on t h e i r understatement of the whole tr u t h being played against the overstatement of some features of i t : the woes of love are noted, but not i t s joys; we see the value of the Mower's labours, but not the implications of these for the human a c t i v i t i e s with which the poetry associates them. When Marvell comes to speak i n his own voice, the wit i s more conscious, culminating i n the epigrammatic sharpness of the l i n e s : And there among the Grass f e l l down, By h i s own Sythe, the Mower mown. While i t would be s i l l y to t a l k of Marvell's patronizing a figure who exists only as his own l i t e r a r y creation, i t i s true that Marvell builds into his poem an a i r of superiority: unlike Damon, Marvell does know the impli -cations of what i s happening, though he prefers simply to hint at meanings and to play with words, especially when they can overstate; "Depopulating a l l the ground", "the Mower mown". 23 In the f i n a l stanza, we have again a l i g h t l y mocking rendition of the Mower's words, with a c h a r a c t e r i s t i c a l l y enigmatic conclusion: Alas! said He, these hurts are s l i g h t To those that dye by Loves despight. With Shepherds-purse, and Clowns-all-heal, The Blood I stanch, and Wound I se a l . Only f o r him no Cure i s found, Whom Julianas Byes do wound. 'Tis death alone that t h i s must do: For Death thou art a Mower too. The l a s t l i n e , as well as being a simple statement of despair by Damon, i s also r i c h i n undeveloped hints, and opens new perspectives f o r the poem. Part of Marvell's s k i l l , and an added source of our pleasure, i s that Marvell can withhold t h i s new suggestion u n t i l the l a s t . In "Damon the Mower", then, wit and play function i n a d i f f e r e n t way than they did i n "The Mower against Gardens". Portentous remarks are offered i n an ambiguous tone, so that i t i s up to the reader to work out th e i r significance. The hero i s shown to be overstating his own l o t , and bragging i n his se l f - d e s c r i p t i o n , yet he offers statements that, taken seriously, could have important implications f o r his own position as mower and as lover, implications that we fin d developed i n "The Mower's Song". The Mower i n thi s poem has not become much wiser through h i s experience, and i s too miserable to be more than glumly witty; the conscious wit i s 24 provided mostly by the 'other' voice of Marvell. IV The speaker of "The Mower to the Gio-Worms" i s a more s t r i k i n g figure than that of "Damon the Mower". This difference i s related to the diff e r e n t formal structure, which allows the Mower here to speak with a new f l e x i b i l i t y and lightness. Instead of the couplets of the two "Mower" poems discussed so f a r we have a more l y r i c a l quatrain form, with the one sentence running through the sixteen l i n e s of the poem. One r e s u l t of t h i s s t r u c t u r a l change i s that the f i n a l lines,which are i n part a lament f o r the Mower's d i s -placement, emerge also as a triumphant declaration: Your courteous Lights i n vain you wast Since Juliana here i s come, For She my Mind hath so displac'd That I s h a l l never f i n d my home. To appreciate how Marvell manages this e f f e c t , and what i t means, we have to consider the r e l a t i o n between what the Mower 'says' and the way i n which he says i t . He claims to be lamenting his l o t , yet the rhythms are f a r from s e l f - p i t y i n g . The attention of the poetry i s directed away from the Mower himself u n t i l the l a s t couplet,when he refers e x p l i c i t l y and simply to his own case without so much as an 'alas'. The poetry keeps dire c t i n g us to the Mower's environment, an environment to which, for a l l his displace-ment, he s t i l l can respond warmly. S.L. Goldberg says of Marvell that "he seems, i n fact, to share something of Shakespeare's dramatic insight that what a man sees as nature r e a l l y defines his physical, 7 moral and s p i r i t u a l being." While this may be too large a statement for t h i s Mower i n th i s poem, i t i s true that the Mower's way of describing t h i s scene becomes a way of revealing a l o t about himself. The hero of "The Mower against Gardens" proclaimed his f e e l i n g f o r nature, but t h i s speaker reveals a more intimate sympathy: Te l i v i n g lamps, by whose dear l i g h t The Nightingale does s i t so l a t e , And studying a l l the Summer-night, Her matchless Songs does meditate. Not only does he refer to the glow-worms i n an intimate tone, but he becomes aware of the nightingale as more than a sweet voice; i t i s seen as a song-maker, and presumably as an image of himself i n his new role, awake at nights composing love-songs f o r or about Juliana. His view of things, however, can now encompass more than a 'S.L. Goldberg, "Marvell: Self and Art", The C r i t i c a l  Review. No.8 (Melbourne and Sydney, 1965), p. 34. 26 pastoral environment. He can respond, too, to a world of public events, of courtesy: You country Comets,that portend No War, nor Princes funeral, Shining unto no higher end Then to presage the Grasses f a l l . There i s probably a pun implied i n "courteous Lights" r e l a t i n g back to the court-liness (though on so diminished a scale) of what the glow-worms are doing. Although the Mower reveals a sympathy for natural things, he i s also displaced from t h i s world - s i g n i f i c a n t l y , by someone from within i t , the shepherdess, Juliana. For the ordinary l o s t Mower, the glow-worms are s u f f i c i e n t guide: Ye Glo-worms, whose o f f i c i o u s Flame To wandring Mowers shows the way, That i n the Night have l o s t t h e i r aim, And a f t e r f o o l i s h F i r e s do stray. While the syntax and the general mood of the poetry relates him to these l o s t Mowers, he also goes on to i n s i s t on the inadequacy of these creatures f o r whom he continues to f e e l such a f f e c t i o n and closeness: Your courteous Lights i n vain you wast, Since Juliana here i s come, For She my Mind hath so displac'd That I s h a l l never f i n d my home. One feature of pastoral poetry i s the association of the r u r a l l i f e with a good and innocent l i f e . Marvell makes use of such a notion i n "The Garden" where he relates l i f e i n his garden with l i f e i n Eden. A s i g n i f i c a n t feature of "The Mower to the Glo-Worms" i s that the pastoral s i m p l i c i t y i s threatened from within a pastoral setting. Even i n an environment that, by l i t e r a r y convention, i s so simple, human nature proves l i f e to be more complex than we might think. Part of the poem's success, then, comes from i t s simultaneous acceptance and rejection of pastoral notions. Yet we must remember that, f o r a l l the range that the poem p o t e n t i a l l y encompasses, i t i s a simple, unpre-tentious and most enjoyable l y r i c . Its wit comes, not i n conscious subtlety, i n the kind of verbal coup we f i n d so often when Marvell speaks i n his own voice, or even i n "The Mower against Gardens", but from the way i n which a man i s permitted to reveal himself simply by stating the truth as he sees i t , and l e t t i n g the d e t a i l s and movement of the poetry do t h e i r work. Quiet juxtapositions, by. a subtle poet speaking i n an 'apparently' unsubtle voice allow the s i t u a t i o n to reveal i t s meaning. One s i g n i f i c a n t feature of t h i s song i s that i t sounds l i k e both a lament and a quiet song of triumph; the Mower appears, paradoxically, 2 8 both peaceful and disturbed. In "The Mower's Song", we f i n d t h i s peace superseded by a more exuberant and overtly p l a y f u l joy. •V "The Mower's Song" seems, on f i r s t reading, to be a simple lament f o r the passing of the simple l i f e . The very structure of the f i r s t stanza r e f l e c t s the change which has taken place: My Mind was once the true survey Of a l l these Medows fresh and gay; And i n the greenness of the Grass Did see i t s Hopes as i n a Glass; When Juliana came, and She What I do to the Grass, does to my Thoughts and Me. The Mower has once l i v e d complacently i n serenity, where he found i n the grass a simple reflection of his hopes; th i s simple harmony can be summed up i n a pair of neatly-structured couplets that scan readily as regular iambic tetrameters. The new state can not be summed up so easily; simple verse-form, simple syntax are no longer adequate. A curious circumlocution i s required i f he i s to say t r u l y what Juliana i s doing to him. The f i r s t meaning suggested by his image for her effect on him i s the cutting down of everything, something surely to be lamented. In the very next l i n e , he refers to his "Sorrow", and t h i s sorrow i s i n s i s t e d on throughout. 29 Yet the Mower i s obviously posing as wretched lover and enjoying t h i s pose. The sense of joy comes compellingly i n the rhythms which mount to the f i n a l exultation of each stanza and to the most exuberant of a l l i n the f i n a l l i n e s of the poem where, although he pretends otherwise, the Mower i s eagerly awaiting Juliana's approach and ac t i v e l y preparing the setting f o r what they are about to do i n the grass: And thus, ye Meadows, which have been Companions of my thoughts more green, Shall now the Heraldry become With which I s h a l l adorn my Tomb; For Juliana comes, and She What I do to the Grass, does to my Thoughts and Me. This Mower appears as a jauntier and more confident figure than any we have seen i n the other poems on the r e l a t i o n -ship with Juliana. Even while speaking of himself as pining with sorrow, he reveals his a l e r t attention and a sharpness of language that belie his se l f - d e s c r i p t i o n : But these, while I with Sorrow pine, Grew more luxuriant s t i l l and f i n e ; That not one Blade of Grass you spy'd, But had a Flower on either side; When Juliana came, and She What I do to the Grass, does to my Thoughts and Me. The contradiction between the alleged lamentation and the apparent celebration becomes especially evident i n the jubilant rhythms of the fourth stanza: 30 But what you i n Compassion ought, Shall now by my Revenge be wrought: And Flow'rs, and Grass, and I and a l l , W i l l i n one common Ruine f a l l . For Juliana comes, and She What I do to the Grass, does to my Thoughts and Me. By his ludicrous notion of taking revenge on the "Unthank-f u l Medows", the Mower-as-lamenting-lover overdoes things, choosing to interpret his usual work as a vengful act |or t h e i r ingratitude. Presumably, they are ungrateful because i t i s the Mower's past a c t i v i t i e s as Mower that has kept them from going to seed and allowed them to flower so free l y ; and t h i s gives an added meaning to that non-committal r e f r a i n concerning what Juliana does to him. S i g n i f i c a n t l y , he becomes f o r the f i r s t time i n the poem a p o t e n t i a l l y active f i g u r e — r a t h e r than one "trodden under f e e t " — j u s t at the point where the refrain's a l t e r a t i o n from "When Juliana came" to "For Juliana comes" switches attention from the past to the present and future with her present. In other words, the a n t i c i -pation of her approach i s seen to activate him. To what does t h i s expectation activate him? To a rhythmically jubilant song about an act or acts of allegedly t o t a l destruction,' acts i n which his own fate i s closely related to that of the grass and the flowers, 31 where, l i k e Adam, he w i l l cause and take part i n "one common Ruine". Yet the same a c t i v i t y w i l l be more than simply des-tructive : And thus, ye Meadows, which have been Companions of my thoughts more green, Sh a l l now the Heraldry become With which 1 s h a l l adorn my Tomb, ( i t a l i c s mine.) Marvell i s playing with more than the Mower's ambivalent response to his new condition. He i s playing with the t r a d i t i o n a l association of pastoral l i f e with Edenic s i m p l i c i t y (the notion central i n "The Mower against Gardens"), and with the association of the P a l l with the coming of woman and the emergence of sexuality, a theme developed more e x p l i c i t l y i n "The Garden": Such was that happy Garden-state, While Man there walk'd without a Mate: After a Place so pure, and sweet, What other Help could yet be meet! But 'twas beyond a Mortal's share To wander s o l i t a r y there: Two Paradises 'twere i n one To l i v e i n Paradise alone. A basic attitude that emerges amid a l l the play and q u a l i -f i c a t i o n s i s that such a f a l l , f or the Mower himself, as well as for the grass and flowers, i s a desirable thing. Cf. Romans v i i i . 2 2 . Compare Donne's l i n e s i n The  F i r s t Anniversary: The noblest part, man, f e l t i t f i r s t ; and than Both beasts and plants, curst i n the curse of man. (199-200) 32 Marvell and the Mower support that attitude by pointing to the implications of the Mower's own usual a c t i v i t i e s . Attention to the Mower's a c t i v i t i e s has been present through the poem, especially i n the r e f r a i n , and i t becomes most important i n the f i n a l stanza, where the Mower sees himself co-operating i n the emblematic dissoci a t i o n of himself and the green meadows, with a re-association i n di f f e r e n t terms: And thus, ye Meadows, which have been Companions of my thoughts more green, Shall now the Heraldry become With which I s h a l l adorn my Tomb. The ambiguous value of greenness i s important here. Green i s the colour of freshness and luxuriant growth, and a colour 9 of innocence. But i t i s also a colour of immaturity, of unripeness. The Mower i s dismissive i n his reference to "thoughts more green", rejecting the inadequacy of the On green as a colour of innocence, see Prank Kermode, "The Argument of Marvell's 'Garden'" i n William R. Keast (ed.), Seventeenth-Century English Poetry: Modern Essays i n C r i t i c i s m (New York,1962),p. 301. Cleopatra implies immaturity i n mentioning "my salad days,/When I was green i n judgment" (Antony I,v). The suggestive q u a l i t i e s of green are not limited to those mentioned above, which are the most important i n this context. Green i s important i n hermetic thought where i t s i g n i f i e s a l i f e p r i n c i p l e of fulness and joy. Traherne and Vaughan use the colour with such suggestions. In medieval poetry, green can have supernatural, even d e v i l i s h , sugges-tions. The d e v i l i n The Pri a r ' s Tale wears "a courtepy of grene" (1.1382). See too Prank Kermode, "Two Notes on Marvell," N&Q, CXCVII (1952), 136-138. 33 simple hopes he mentions i n the f i r s t stanza. The Mower now takes f o r himself a new maturity and freedom, especially i n the extraordinary act of adorning his own tomb. That image b r i l l i a n t l y and w i t t i l y concludes the conceit of the courtly-pastoral lover stricken unto death, but i t also amplifies the other side of the picture: when the Mower and Juliana are joined physically i n the grass, and l i t e r a l l y 'adorned' with the f r u i t s of the meadows, the sexual 'death' w i l l also be the tomb of the former simple Mower, at present i n a state of jubilant, i f s l i g h t l y worried, t r a n s i t i o n . The elaborate play of a l l of thi s reaches i t s climax i n the f i n a l r e p e t i t i o n of the r e f r a i n which now recurs more strongly and triumphantly than ever, with a new depth of meaning: For Juliana comes, and She What I do to the Grass, does to my Thoughts and Me. The r e f r a i n confirms the Tightness of what i s happening to the Mower: just as the grass ought to be cut down l e s t the meadow go to seed—and therefore the meadows ought to be "thankful", not "unthankful"—so too ought the simple swain who has not yet experienced love. We fin d a p l a y f u l recog-n i t i o n of a paradox that applies to man as to nature: there i s no growth without some destruction and los s . The manner of the Mower implies an acceptance of th i s truth. Just as he w i l l delightedly cut down the grass, even i f the flowers too must perish, so too w i l l he allow Juliana to cut him down and bring him to maturity. VI The "Mower" poems could bear much further study from various points of view. The especial relevance of discussing them as I have done i s to emphasise that styles of writing which could be described as parody or evasiveness, or as witty and p l a y f u l , are used i n these poems as means of d i s -closing some central and paradoxical features of man's condition. Marvell here writes pastoral poetry which i s both simple and profoundly subtle. Simply l y r i c movement exposes depths of fe e l i n g and of meaning through i t s very playfulness and lightness. This i s especially the case when the Mower appears as an allegedly woeful lover, singing of his s i t u a t i o n i n the language most suitable to him as Mower, and allowing the metaphorical insights thus This point i s in s i s t e d on, with respect to Marvell, especially i n the essays of S.L. Goldberg noted elsewhere. 35 established to c l a r i f y h is own situation, and the manner of the poem to c l a r i f y his own complex responses to new experiences. U.S. E l i o t refers to "that precise taste of Marvell's which finds f o r him the proper degree of seriousness f o r every subject which he treats", and to wit as "a tough reasonable-ness beneath the s l i g h t l y r i c grace" These somewhat elusive comments can apply to the "Mower" poems, but the poems also suggest ways they might be modified. On the matter of seriousness, we should stress how f a r the use of a sophisticated playfulness i s i t s e l f a serious means of creating insights; and the relevant wit of the poem i s better located i n an interplay, or harmony, of the "tough reasonableness" and the " l y r i c grace" than i n the presence of one "beneath" the other. The reader i s involved i n the pleasant game of finding hidden complexities and significance; at the same time he can delight i n the elegant s k i l l with which images and rhythms of violence and disorder are modified rather than muted by such grace and order. This simultaneous presence of order and disorder i s more than a s u p e r f i c i a l matter. It i s an expression of Marvell's comic sense, of his b e l i e f that even disorder and disruption are T.S. E l i o t , "Andrew Marvell", i n Selected Essays. 3rd ed. (London, 1 9 5 l ) , pp. 304, 293. 36 providential and necessary; the b e l i e f appears i n more sombre contexts i n "An Horatian Ode" and Upon Appleton House. VII In many poems, we f i n d a man i n v i t i n g a woman to share the delights of love with him; sometimes, but not always, these could be considered as 'seduction' poems. Catullus' "Vivamus, mea Lesbia, atque amerrtus" assumes that a love exists, and asserts the value of that love against various threats. Catullus' poem touches several themes recurrent i n the poetry of the early seventeenth century; sometimes, indeed, i t provokes conscious imitation. Ben Jonson bases Volpone's seductive "Come my C e l i a " and "Zisse me sweet" upon i t , and Campion develops his own version i n "My sweetest Lesbia, l e t us l i v e and love". In such poems, we f i n d the recurrence of such conventions and themes as the extravagant use of numbers and a preocaupation with time, and especially the contrast between man's short l i f e and the eternally re-curring days and seasons. We f i n d too that such poems take on the quality of a game: Donne's "The Plea" plays at being a l i g h t and witty attempt at seduction where the s k i l l of the game rather than the power of the argument i s shown as most l i k e l y to have the desired e f f e c t . In the English poems I have mentioned, the poet appears very much as "playing a part". 37 Marvell's "To his Coy Mistress" belongSj then, to a style of poetry with a long t r a d i t i o n and considerable 12 popularity at the time. This context i s especially important i f we consider that the poem's chief energies do not seem to arise from Marvell's personal response to a woman. In ether words, the rhythmic and metaphorical strength of "To his Coy Mistress" come from something other than sexual desire. In that case, we need to d i s -cover where the strength does come from, and with what effect Marvell adopts the stance of eager lover, i f he doesn't r e a l l y convince us that he i s one. I have looked already at Marvell speaking as a Soul, as a Body, and as Damon the Mower. We now see him playing at being a lover. Unlike the Mower, Marvell-as-lover i s not bound to be a man of r e l a t i v e l y small wit and a limited frame of reference; he may, decorously off e r a more f o r c e f u l , elaborate, and a l l u s i v e argument. But although Marvell can appear here with the f u l l range of his powers, the poem doesn't seem as dir e c t a response to Marvell's immediate concerns as are the best of Donne's love poems. Marvell encourages the Por further indications of Marvell's precedents, see J.B. Leishman's The Art of Marvell's Poetry, pp. 70-78. 38 sense that we are distant from his true s e l f by the elegance of the wit, by the formality of the manner, and by the obvious f i d e l i t y to a style of poetry. Our answer to the question of why "To his Coy Mistress" i s so b r i l l i a n t and impressive, however, must recognize more than novelty of usage, or the clever and more witty elaboration of long-used themes and images. The poem i s passionately con-cerned with many of the issues i t raises, with the p o s s i b i l i t y of human splendour, with the i n e v i t a b i l i t y of human decay. Yet i t seems to play with such themes i n a violent and reck-less manner. The conventions of the 'love' poems to which I re f e r above help to keep such extravagance decorous, but they do not explain how Marvell, i n so staged and d e l i g h t f u l a poem, can touch such frightening depths, or soar to such heights. J.V. Cunningham argues strongly that we recognise the 13 l o g i c a l base of "To his Coy Mistress". He points to i t s three-part s y l l o g i s t i c structure and regards most of the de t a i l s as more-or-less expendable. Yet much of the poem's power l i e s i n those apparently rambling and superfluous d e t a i l s . 13 J.V. Cunningham, "Logic and L y r i c : Marvell, Dunbar and Nashe", i n h i s Tradition and Poetic Structure: Essays  i n L i t e r a r y History and C r i t i c i s m (Denver.I960), pp. 40-58. 3 9 In the opening movement of the poem, the speaker f l a t t e r s with an easy grace and immense extravagance: An hundred years should go to praise Thine Eyes, and on thy Eorehead Craze. Two hundred to adore each Breast: But t h i r t y thousand to the rest. An Age at least to every part, And the l a s t Age should show your Heart. Por Lady you deserve t h i s State; Nor would I love at lower rate. Logically, these l i n e s are an expansion of the opening remark, Had we but World enough, and Time, This coyness Lady were no crime. Dramatically, t h i s extravagant expansion serves several pur-poses: i t implies that the impatience of the lover implies no disrespect, i t seeks to win the sympathy of the mistress, and i t suggests that the tone of the conversation i s one of s l i g h t l y offhand gallantry. Yet i t seems curious that so much of the poem's force i s directed to expanding the ideas of "World" and "Time" which are supposed to be irrelevant to the present situation, to creating a series of images of the impossible. This extravagance i s an enthusiastic response to the riches of the world: Thou by the Indian Ganges side Should'st Rubies f i n d : I by the Tide Of Humber would complain. I would Love you ten years before the Flood: And you should i f you please refuse T i l l the Conversion of the Jews. My vegetable Love should grow Vaster then Empires, and more slow. This extraordinary spectacle of the game of erotic pursuit being played on the stage of the whole world for almost a l l of created time simultaneously mocks and elevates the more mundane pursuit which i s taking place on the 'occasion' of the poem. In the l i g h t of such aspirations an immediate con-summation seems undignified and inadequate, a point the poem openly grants before going on to defend that immediate consummation. Yet the fact that a person can have such aspirations i s a sign of man's grandeur. The speaker here can see his present s i t u a t i o n i n the context of something much grander than mere physical s a t i s f a c t i o n , even while admitting that his mortal condition prevents him from achieving what he seeks. The problem, seen another way, i s to assert man's s p i r i t u a l i t y i n a way that acknowledges the bounds of h i s f l e s h l y condition. Part of man's amphibious nature leads him to contemplate, to f e e l free of the bounds of time and space. Though the poem l a t e r argues for a pleasurable a c t i v i t y that involves destructive violence, behaviour which seems improper for human beings, i t also implies that without the p r i o r contemplation, any actions w i l l be impoverished. I f the lovers do what i s 41 f i n a l l y advocated, t h e i r action w i l l be elevated and ennobled because i t takes place i n the context of such meditations on the impossible. The s i t u a t i o n i n t h i s poem i s a parable for man's condition generally. While our aspirations are ennobling, they are also impossible to f u l f i l ; Marvell emphasizes th i s by stressing t h e i r splendid absurdity. I f man i s to aspire r e a l i s t i c a l l y , he must be well aware of his l i m i t s . Marvell's way of playing with the impossible i s a way of creating such an awareness. Because of man's f l e s h l y condition, that bondage which i s considered i n the second section of the poem, he i s f a r from attaining such joys; yet his ' s p i r i t u a l ' nature can elevate his a c t i v i t i e s to more than animal behaviour — even a c t i v i t i e s e x p l i c i t l y likened to those of birds of prey: Now l e t us sport us while we may; And now, l i k e am'rous birds of prey, Rather at once our Time devour, Than languish i n his slow-chapt pow'r. The second movement of the poem takes on a grimmer quality, and the humour becomes darker. The far-ranging metaphors look no longer to splendour, but to ashes and dust: 42 But at my back I alwaies hear Times winged Charriot hurrying near: And yonder a l l before us lye Desarts of vast Eternity. Thy Beauty s h a l l no more be found; Nor, i n thy marble Vault, s h a l l sound My echoing Song: then Worms s h a l l t r y That long preserv'd V i r g i n i t y : And your quaint Honour turn to dust; And into ashes a l l my Lust. The Grave 1s a fine and private place, But none I think do there embrace. The passage's function i n the underlying s y l l o g i s t i c argument i s to stress the commonplace that a l l must die soon; but i t s strength and r e a l importance i n the poem comes from i t s p a r t i c u l a r way of perceiving that commonplace and r e l a t i n g i t to the poem's e a r l i e r d e t a i l s . Time, the oppressive enemy, i s both near, "at my back", and stretching "yonder" to "vast Eternity". The f i r s t part of the poem saw vast expanses of time as po t e n t i a l l y splendid and desirable. Now, however, the vast expanse of time outside that of a single l i f e i s seen as t e r r i f y i n g . The b r i e f time during which men may act become s a blessing, for only the grave and an eternity of dust and ashes await those who f a i l to use the time they a r e given. The l i n e , "Desarts of vast Eternity" stresses one of the poem's paradoxes: the return to dust i s a sign of man's f l e s h l y ' condition, yet the desert of dust awaits a l l , including such ' s p i r i t u a l contemplations as those parodied i n the f i r s t part of the poem: dust i s as much the end of "Honour" as ashes of the speaker's "Lust". 43 This opens the way for the paradoxical assertion at the end of the poem that v i o l e n t l y f l e s h l y a c t i v i t i e s are the ones most l i k e l y to li b e r a t e man as s p i r i t u a l being from the tyranny of the sun, symbol of his mortal subjection. Where the speaker e a r l i e r played with the grandeur of his own aspirations, he now plays with his own t e r r o r of death. The series of jokes i n the presence of the grave, with t h e i r recurrently sexual reference, argue a r e l a t i o n between her denials and those ultimate denials of l i f e represented by the grave. The attitude to death i s both casual and urgent, as i s the attitude to sex: he can joke about "Lust" as about "ashes" without denying the force of either. The f i n a l section of the poem begins with an almost pastoral s i m p l i c i t y that seems to anticipate the sweet delights of sexual consummation, as we would expect of a poem i n the "seduction" t r a d i t i o n : Now therefore, while the youthful hew Si t s on thy skin l i k e morning dew, And while thy w i l l i n g Soul transpires At every pore with instant F i r e s , Now l e t us sport us while we may. Yet the strength and precision of the images, such as "thy w i l l i n g Soul transpires", along with the mounting intensity of the rhythms, counterpoint t h i s pastoral mood and prepare 44 for the extraordinary and grotesque f e r o c i t y of what follows. We now see what the "sport" involves: And now, l i k e am'rous birds of prey, Rather at once our Time devour, Than languish i n his slow-chapt pow'r. Let us r o l l a l l our Strength, and a l l Our sweetness, up into one B a l l : And tear our Pleasures with rough s t r i f e , Thorough the Iron gates of L i f e , Thus, though we cannot make our Sun Stand s t i l l , yet we w i l l make him run. The attitude developed i n t h i s f i n a l movement i s a complex one which rests on an elaborate interplay of several discrete elements that are c a r e f u l l y balanced. We f i n d , f o r example, a contrast between the insistence on having "our Pleasures" and the violence of the imagery that describes those pleasures: "tear our Pleasures with rough s t r i f e . / Thorough the Iron gates of L i f e " . Much of the e f f e c t comes from the way i n which the formality of the poem, especially i n the metrical tightness, balances an almost h y s t e r i c a l tendency i n the mounting tone. We f i n d the rhymes holding back the forward movement to stress c r u c i a l contrasts and relationships: "devour"/"power", " s t r i f e " / " l i f e " . The paradox emerges that the same a c t i v i t y i s seen, by a man persuading h i s "coy mistress", as both desirable and frighteningly destructive: "am'rous birds of prey", "our Time devour". Such an ambiguity of position i s common i n Marvell; yet, the force of the poetry, f o r a l l 45 the q u a l i f i c a t i o n s of any simple view of sexual delights, i s to affirm not only sexual union, but a l l of those things that the poem has i t represent, i n p a r t i c u l a r the power of men to act within a p o t e n t i a l l y unfavorable universe regardless of the pr i c e . This f e e l i n g about human power culminates i n the curious image i n the f i n a l couplet: Thus, though we cannot make our Sun Stand s t i l l , yet we w i l l make him run. An interest i n the sun's speed i s one that appears, with variations, elsewhere i n Marvell (the f i n a l stanza of "The Garden"), and i n Donne ("The Sunne Rising"). Man's sub-jection to the sun's movements i s a major symbol of his f l e s h l y condition: he i s subject to a sequence of days and years, which leads f i n a l l y to the grave. The lo g i c here i s d i f f i c u l t to follow: as elsewhere i n Marvell, the casual "thus" i s not so obviously j u s t i f i e d . The paradoxical assertion here i s to claim that although man's mortal subservience to the sun's movement cannot be escaped, i t s effect can be altered through a c t i v i t i e s that seem most 'fl e s h l y ' . Yet such a c t i v i t i e s , i n spite of the price, are the r e a l way f o r man to prove that he i s not u t t e r l y subject to the 'natural' forces around him. 46 In some ways, a l l of t h i s commentary seems too solemn for what the poem a c t u a l l y says. Indeed, my quarrel with much Marvell c r i t i c i s m i s the tendency to explicate poems without any indic a t i o n of noticing how l i g h t and witty they are. "To his Coy Mistress" does i n v i t e such terms as those I have been using above. To some extent, I can explain i t s playfulness as part of i t s ' t a c t i c * , i n keeping with the r h e t o r i c a l pose adopted by i t s speaker. Beyond t h i s , and more important, i s the freedom allowed the poet's imagination once a p l a y f u l manner has been adopted, once the usual standards of " r e a l i t y " have been superseded. Yet i s also i s true that the 'play' i s even more fundamental than that account implies, that the imaginative freedom i s part of the attitude to the world and to the assertion of man's s p i r i t which the poetry ultimately defends. There i s obviously something arrogant about such assertions as are made i n the closing couplet of "To his Coy Mistress" or frequently else-where i n Donne and Marvell. They acknowledge such arrogance by touches of self-mockery, but they continue to assert i t s necessity. In "To his Coy Mistress", the a r t i f i c i a l manner acts as reminder that the things asserted are both arrogant and splendid. The a r t i f i c e also r e c a l l s that Marvell uses the 'seduction' s i t u a t i o n and i t s p o s s i b i l i t i e s as a parable fo r considering general tensions i n man's l i f e . 47 VIII A number of Marvell's poems, fo r a l l t h e i r differences, have revealed recurrent themes and methods. These poems make l i t t l e pretence to represent spontaneous utterances. The passion and conviction which seem to be ultimately his are voiced by others i n situations remote from Marvell's own, i n movements formal and ordered. These poems have something of a parable quality: they symbolize fundamental concerns of Marvell's which he confronts by adapting 'conventional' styles and situations. The pretences chosen are important. In loving, one becomes especially aware of the gaps between aspirations and achievements, but also of the way that imaginative aspirations may give riche r meaning to human relations that may seem 'fleshly' and r e l a t i v e l y unvaried. The si t u a t i o n of an ardent lover aware of the passing of time and of the imminence of eternity becomes a metaphor fo r problems that concern Marvell and f o r feelings he has about them. In "To his Coy Mistress", Marvell appears to parody the "seduction poem", yet he also realizes new p o s s i b i l i t i e s of that mode. "To his Coy Mistress" i s a s i g n i f i c a n t love poem, but i t i s also both a sober meditation on death and an assertion of the joy of l i f e and love. 48 A pastoral love l y r i c relates the feelings and thoughts of a 'rustic' to those things he sees around him; the mode provides an excellent opportunity for r e l a t i n g human a f f a i r s and t h e i r ambiguities to those of the natural world. The figure of the Mower allows one means of considering another major theme of Marvell's, the r e l a t i o n between destruction and growth. I f the "Mower poems" are fine but s l i g h t l y r i c s by comparison with the achievements of some other Marvell poems, they are also very suggestive ones, and t h e i r a rt indicative of q u a l i t i e s that are basic to Marvell's success, especially the delicacy with which he can l e t poems depend on the interplay of the apparently urbane with suggestive and disturbing implications. To see man as a being torn between c o n f l i c t i n g impulses and then to schematize this tension i n terms of an absolute Soul-Body c o n f l i c t i n v i t e s extreme statements. To play that schematic approach against other insights i s to use i n an unusually stark way a method that appears i n more subtle forms elsewhere, as i n the poems to be con-sidered below. "A Dialogue between the Soul and Body" i s a r e l a t i v e l y impersonal poem about problems that Marvell considers elsewhere with more e x p l i c i t reference to his own situation, with corresponding changes i n method. 49 But the poems I have considered are also noteworthy i n themselves, especially f o r these q u a l i t i e s : the metaphoric power, the range of a c t i v i t i e s and things that Marvell i s able to make present i n his writing, and the p a r t i c u l a r tone achieved, the witty tone which implies the kind of serious-ness proper to the issues considered, and what attitudes are proper i n confronting them. On one hand, the range of pre-occupations and the in t e l l i g e n c e with which they are developed gives depth and meaningful coherence to a style that resembles i n some respects the lesser achievements of Cleveland. At the same time, the style holds the speculation i n range and affirms both sanity and joy i n the face of threats to them. 50 CHAPTER III DONNE'S LOVE LYRICS I The range of judgments that have been made of Donne's "Songs and Sonnets" indicate the variety not merely of the c r i t i c s * interests, but also of the poems themselves. As well as the variety among di f f e r e n t poems, there i s a s i g n i f i c a n t , and often puzzling, variety within poems. The same works can j u s t i f y apparently incompatible responses. One c r i t i c , such as C.S. Lewis,"'" decides that Donne i s only toying with ideas and images, using them as things that can be manipulated at 2 3 w i l l . Others, such as Helen Gardner and A.J. Smith, fi n d serious philosophical discussions of love and related topics. Emphasis on the poems as the 'venting of wit' or as semi-philosophical expositions tends to clash with an emphasis on the passionate nature of Donne's writing. Vincent Buckley's stress on the passion of Donne's best writing follows those c r i t i c a l approaches that note Donne's spontaneity or his warmth 4 of f e e l i n g . "Donne and Love Poetry i n the Seventeenth Century," i n John Purves (ed.), Seventeenth Century Studies Presented to  S i r Herbert Grierson (Oxford. 1 9 3 8 ) . 2 See her edition of John Donne; The Elegies and The Songs  and Sonnets (Oxford, 1965T* 3 See, for example, "The Metaphysic of Love," RES. n.s., IX ( 1 9 5 8 ) , 3 6 2 - 3 7 5 . ^Vincent Buckley, Poetry and the Sacred (London, 1 9 6 8 ) , ch.5, "John Donne's Passion." 51 It would be easy to multiply such cases of diverse responses. They lead back to the questions of how we are to take the poems, of the ways i n which they indeed play games, of the ends to which those games are directed. Buckley's approach, with which I have much sympathy, suggests that the passion i n a poem i s concentrated often i n a l i n e or two standing out from a movement disturbingly cerebral. The problem he raises deserves examination. I f we agree with him about the 'passionate' quality of And now good morrow to our waking soules, Which watch not one another out of feare, and agree too about i t s s i g n i f i c a n t rhythmic difference from the preceding l i n e s , how are we to take the poem as a whole, i n which the playfulness and the cerebration are also integral? My own judgements on t h i s p a r t i c u l a r poem w i l l emerge l a t e r . But the questions raised are appropriate to many poems. The problems are aggravated by the extent to which Donne strikes various poses i n his poems, pretending to be i n unli k e l y situations, pretending to hold incredible b e l i e f s , w i t t i l y defending unlikely arguments and saying things as extravagant as anything i n his 'Petrarchan' predecessors. Although Donne, unlike Marvell i n the poems considered above, habitually writes i n his own voice — "Breake of Day" and "Confined Love" are the exceptions among his "Songs and 52 Sonnets" — he does seem i n various ways to dissociate himself from the things that are 1 said * i n the poems. And i f we are tempted to escape from d i f f i c u l t i e s of t h i s sort by separating the 'serious' and the 'light-hearted' poems — as we certainly can to some extent — the d i f f i c u l t y remains that poems we would naturally c a l l 'serious' or 'passionate' share the very q u a l i t i e s that seem to characterize the 'l i g h t ' poems. Consider, for example, both the extravagance and the cleverly rounded quality of "A Kocturnall upon S.Lucies Day", which returns to a version of i t s f i r s t l i n e a f t e r a series of extraordinary claims, yet j u s t l y receives s p e c i a l attention from Buckley, among others, who concentrates on such q u a l i t i e s as the passion rather than on the wit. At least some of Donne's "Songs and Sonnets" are complex poems, and we fi n d i n them a strong tension between q u a l i t i e s that appear to p u l l them i n different directions and to demand different evaluations. What Donne makes of these tensions I w i l l examine by looking closely at a number of these poems. The central theme of my discussion i s that q u a l i t i e s that I describe generally as p l a y f u l are central to the success of quite serious poems. The p l a y f u l -ness they display may be explained partly i n terms of Donne's venting wit, or doing new t r i c k s with an old style inherited from e a r l i e r love poems, but i t becomes as well a quality of 53 mind, a way for Donne to c l a r i f y thoughts and feelings. Speaking of his early reading of Donne, Patrick Cruttwell comments: It convinced me that a great deal of intense cerebration and i n t e l l e c t u a l i t y — even some tongue-in-cheek show-off displays of erudition — could be quite compatible, i n the same poem, with expressions of intense passion and devout adoration: could even seem to reinforce these, i n a manner I was not quite capable of analysing but was ce r t a i n l y capable of feeling.5 My concern here i s to examine that apparent reinforcement, to show that the relationship suggested by Cruttwell i s more than compatibility. II Many comments made about the "Songs and Sonnets" would be relevant to other poems also. One reason f o r considering them separately i s that t h e i r kind of play depends i n part on conventions and expectations peculiar to the l o v e - l y r i c . A d i s t i n c t i v e feature of the t r a d i t i o n Donne in h e r i t s from such writers as Sidney i s the strong element of game-playing. It i s no great surprise i f a Sidney sonnet claims to r e l y only on "The Love Poetry of John Donne: Pedantique Weedes or Fresh Invention?", i n Stratford-upon-Avon Studies 11: Metaphysical Poetry (London, 1970), p. 12. 54 personal feelings, rejecting the words and manners of others, yet reveals much formal and conventional a r t i s t r y : Loving i n truth, and faine i n verse my love to show, That the deare She might take some pleasure of my paine: Pleasure might cause her reade, reading might make her know, Knowledge might p i t i e winne, and p i t i e grace obtaine, I sought f i t words to paint the blackest face of woe, Studying inventions f i n e , her wits to entertaine: Oft turning others' leaves, to see i f thence would flow Some fresh and f r u i t f u l l showers upon my sunne—burn'd braine. But words came hal t i n g forth, wanting Invention's stay, Invention, Nature's c h i l d , f l e d step-dame Studie's blowes, And others' feete s t i l l semm'd but strangers i n my way. Thus great with c h i l d to speake, and helplesse i n my throwes, B i t i n g my trewand pen, beating my selfe for spite, 'Poole,' said my Muse to me, 'looke i n thy heart and write.' (Astrophil and S t e l l a , l ) Over-dramatizing one's own role i s an important part of t h i s ' t r a d i t i o n ' . The sixteenth-century l o v e — l y r i c i s i n part a s o c i a l game i n which one plays at being, say, gr i e f — s t r i c k e n and inconsolable. Psychologically, one might explain the habit of eloquent play as a necessary sublimation, s t i f f l y ordering emotions so as to make them bearable. While this may be a p a r t i a l explanation of Petrarch's poetry, the phenomenon of 'Petrarchan' poetry i n Elizabethan England i s more complex than t h i s , John Stevens talks of lovers playing at being poets, and poets playing at being lovers, but for the best love poetry of the period, even his account i s scarcely adequate.^ John Stevens, Music and Poetry i n the Early Tudor Court (London, 196l), ch.10, esp. p. 218. 55 During the sixteenth century, i n the best poets as i n the worst, r h e t o r i c a l devices and t r i c k s appear more openly; eloquence and formal precision firmly balance any supposedly disordered fee l i n g s . George Puttenham says of love that: i t requireth a forme of Poesie variable. inconstant. affected. curious. and most witty of any others, whereof the ioyes were to be vttered i n one sorte, the sorrowes i n an other, and, by the many formes of Poesie, the many moodes and pangs of louers throughly to be discouered."? There i s no thought that the poetry i s less true or sincere for the ways i n which i t a l t e r s the o r i g i n a l feelings of the lovers. Indeed Puttenham assumes that such poetry i s even more l i k e l y to move someone "to great compassion" than would expressions untouched by a r t . George Gascoigne i s even blunter i n his instructions f o r a would-be poet: The f i r s t and most necessarie poynt that euer I founde to be considered i n making of a delectable poeme i s t h i s , to ground i t vpon some fine inuention. . . .8 Gascoigne goes on to elaborate the p o s s i b i l i t i e s . Por a l l the limi t a t i o n s of his view of poetry, he i s at least true to his George Puttenham, The Arte of English Poesie (1589), quoted from G« Gregory Smith (ed.TT Elizabethan C r i t i c a l  Essays (London, 1904),ll, 47. Emphases are mine. George Gascoigne, Certayne Notes of Instruction (1575), quoted from G. Gregory Smith, op_. c i t . . I, 47. 56 times i n t h i s emphasis, one which would also be applicable to Donne, writing a generation l a t e r . A study of Renaissance love poetry i n r e l a t i o n to the 'game of love* i s outside my scope. My point has been that Donne inher i t s a t r a d i t i o n of love poetry where one naturally played and pretended, where s k i l f u l devices and neat r h e t o r i c a l figures were praiseworthy, where wit and i n f l a t i o n were at least compatible with 'feeling' and might be seen even as a means of heightening i t . He i s close to poets, 'Petrarchan' or not, f o r whom invention i s all-important, members of cultured and clever c i r c l e s who should be expected to turn a witty verse 9 as a normal accomplishment. A volume published around 1590, containing Marlowe's translations of Ovid's Elegies or Amores, as well as epigrams by S i r John Davies, represents part of Donne's inheritance, Donne's "Elegies", apparently inspired by Marlowe's versions of Ovid, are early examples of Donne's use of a discursive manner with affected roughness, and of his playing the part of a witty and amorous hero. The young Donne also wrote epigrams, anticipating the sharpness and brevity which also characterize his "Songs and Sonnets". See, f o r example, L.C. Knights, "On the Social Background of Metaphysical Poetry", i n his Further Explorations (London, 1965). 57 Reference to 1 sources•, or at least to representatives of styles with which Donne learned, does not, of course, 'explain' Donne: the important thing i s what he made of these s t y l e s . As some l a t e r comparisons w i l l show, Donne's innovations are s t r i k i n g , h is poems s i g n i f i c a n t l y d i f f e r e n t i n aims and techniques from those by Spenser, Sidney, or Marlowe, which they resemble i n some respects. However, the awareness of such writings does help put Donne i n perspective, and to remind us i n a general way that the apparent contradictions between l e v i t y and seriousness, between d i s t o r t i o n and accuracy, and so on, are not unique to Donne, that they appear often i n late sixteenth-century poetry, and are expected to appear. What Donne makes of these tensions i s another matter altogether. I l l The poems we refer to as Donne's "Songs and Sonnets" are a diverse group, somewhat a r b i t r a r i l y grouped together by t h e i r publishers. Many are simply clever variations on ideas, images, or styles — exercises almost. Though often s l i g h t by Donne's own standards, they are usually informed by that vigorous in t e l l i g e n c e and free-ranging imagination which distinguish Donne from so many of his predecessors. We might see such poems as those i n the f i r s t 'group' of 58 Helen Gardner's e d i t i o n as part of Donne's learning to write i n a witty l y r i c a l s t y l e and developing the control of language that enables him to write the major l y r i c s . Or they may simply be poems written i n a l i g h t e r mood. While attempts to date the l y r i c s , or to arrange them chronologically seem a rather f u t i l e exercise, we can at least agree with Helen Gardner's arrangement of the poems i n making general d i s t i n c t i o n s between poems according to t h e i r weight or s u b t l e t y . ^ What are these 'weightier themes'? Generally, they arise from a sense of man's 'dual' nature, such as I have suggested e a r l i e r . In his major love poetry, Donne i s especially concerned with the p o s s i b i l i t y of permanence i n love. The fullness of human love becomes possible because men and women do have q u a l i t i e s that are somehow suggested by the word 'soul'; they can respond to each other with more than physical desire. At the same time, persons are not d i s -embodied s p i r i t s . Without physical contact, love i s r e a l but deprived. The problems thus raised are discussed i n a f a i r l y I r e f e r to her edition of The Elegies and The Songs  and Sonnets (Oxford, 1965), and to the grouping of "Songs and Sonnets" i n two parts, with accompanying conjectures about when they might have been written. Unless other-wise noted, quotations from "Songs• and Sonnets" follow her text. abstract and schematic manner i n "The Exstasie", culminating i n the i n v i t a t i o n : So must pure lovers soules descend T'affections, and to f a c u l t i e s , That sense may reach and apprehend, Else a great Prince i n prison l i e s . To'our bodies turne wee then, that so Weake men on love reveal'd may looke; Loves mysteries i n soules doe grow, But yet the body i s his booke. The duality of man also raises the problem of the permanence and v u l n e r a b i l i t y of love. To the enraptured lover, love may seem s e l f — s u f f i c i e n t and eternal; but because man i s mortal, his other a c t i v i t i e s and desires, and the ultimate expectation of death, o f f e r an i n v i n c i b l e threat. Donne's examination of such themes i s usually dramatic: that i s , he examines them while 'in' a si t u a t i o n . His d i s -cussions, whatever di r e c t i o n they take, are put i n the context of how he f e e l s about a p a r t i c u l a r person at a p a r t i c u l a r time. The general question that most poems offer to answer i s something l i k e t h i s : "How can a man i n t e l l i g e n t l y and f e e l i n g l y respond to such situations as imminent separation from a beloved, the pressing demands of everyday a c t i v i t i e s , or the death i t s e l f of a beloved woman?" His responses to such questions are i n various ways p l a y f u l . Some of these ways I examine below. 60 It i s s i g n i f i c a n t that a recurrent p l a y f u l habit of Donne's i s to understate or to overstate a case, to d i s t o r t the situ a t i o n and p o s s i b i l i t i e s , while a recurrent theme i s the extent to which loving d i s t o r t s 'normal' understandings of r e a l i t y and of proper behaviour. The sense of a game being played i s especially strong i n the l i g h t e r of the "Songs and Sonnets". In "The Plea", the argument i t s e l f i s hardly l i k e l y to convince anyone. In "The Expiration", Donne appears as i f i n the act of kissing, arguing on astonishing grounds f o r the end of the k i s s : So, so, breake off t h i s l a s t lamenting kisse, Which sucks two soules, and vapors both away. As Helen Gardner's note reminds us, the conceit r e l a t i n g kisses and souls has a r e l a t i v e l y firm l o g i c a l basis i n the presumed r e l a t i o n between soul and b r e a t h . B u t of course Donne i s only pretending that t h i s i s a reason f o r stopping the k i s s i n g (and only pretending that he i s k i s s i n g at a l l ) . Donne the speaker i s shown to be p l a y f u l l y using the notion fo r other purposes, to amuse or to console the beloved woman. Donne the poet i s also using the situ a t i o n as the basis of a The Elegies and the Songs and Sonnets. p. 159, note to "The Expiration", 1.2. 61 pleasant l y r i c and, while setting the words i n a firm metrical framework, he makes the p l a y f u l pretence that he i s r e a l l y reporting part of a conversation. I am making a d i s t i n c t i o n between 'playing' as a kind of t a c t i c i n a dramatically-presented s i t u a t i o n and a less obvious playfulness of thought. One s t r i k i n g case of play as a ' t a c t i c ' i s "Song" ("Sweetest love . . . " ) , where we f i n d a strong element of teasing; at the same time, t h i s i s a basis for something p o t e n t i a l l y more serious. We f i n d i n t h i s poem responses i n excess of what the s i t u a t i o n l o g i c a l l y requires. The apparent s i t u a t i o n i s that a woman laments because her lover must leave and that she needs consolation. Yet the f i r s t stanza appears to be calculated to make her f e e l worse about the separation: Sweetest love, I do not goe, For weariness of thee, Nor i n hope the world can show A f i t t e r Love fo r mee; But since that I Must dye at l a s t , ' t i s best, To use my selfe i n jest Thus by fain'd deaths to dye. He implies that she may accuse him of bad motives and, i n denying them, suggests what they could be. He then casually proceeds to remind her that he must die. 62 Such, a reading ignores, however, the tone of the poetry: the manner i s primarily one of teasing. The f i r s t four l i n e s demand to be met by the statement of his true reasons f o r going; the "but" of the f i f t h l i n e appears to promise these, but the poem changes d i r e c t i o n and avoids giving them. The change i n metrical structure, the shorter f i f t h l i n e giving the impression of holding back an expected f u l l e r statement, has a similar teasing e f f e c t . Moreover, the poem i s written i n a s p i r i t of great tenderness, culminating i n the beautiful yet character-i s t i c a l l y extravagant l i n e s : But thinke that wee Are but turn'd aside to sleepe; They who one another keepe Aliv e , ne'r parted bee. In the supposed si t u a t i o n of the poem, Donne i s repeatedly overstating her own and his own fears, changing direction, playing l o g i c a l t r i c k s , o f f e r i n g obviously false arguments, and suggesting, i n effect, that the views of lovers i n each other's presence are inevitably distorted. He i s presented as charming the woman away from her o r i g i n a l sadness without actually denying that she has reason f o r i t , and while acknowledging quite s i g n i f i c a n t threats to t h e i r love and joys. The poem, however, i s more than a pl a y f u l attempt to tease a woman out of weeping at her lover's departure. This 63 i s the occasion on which Donne builds the poem, but i t s effect i s more complex than that would imply. We can see that each part of the poem hyperbolically refers to some important truth about men and women and t h e i r powers, yet doing t h i s so l i g h t l y as to avoid probing such truth. The effect i n t h i s respect i s comparable to that of "The Mower's Song" i n that the manner of the poem seems to minimize the importance of what i t says. In "Song", Donne has been quietly arguing towards an emphasis that, since lovers have great power over each other f o r good or i l l , they should be: a l e r t and responsive, re f r a i n i n g from thoughtless behaviour that may be harmful; that the "keeping a l i v e " which they can do depends on such continual alertness which i s at the same time a relaxed confidence i n each other's f i d e l i t y . Yet t h i s l i n e of reasoning i s understressed i n the e x p l i c i t statements of the poem. Perhaps one reason f o r t h i s under-emphasis i s the desire to avoid too portentous or sententious a manner, which would be improper i n a song and i n thi s dramatic s i t u a t i o n . At the same time, the poem's attention to these issues i s one reason why i t stands out among the other ' l y r i c a l ' and apparently e a r l i e r poems among which Helen Gardner places i t . Donne does not always f e e l such a need to play down the significance of what he says about love to his beloved. A possible reason f o r his doing so here i s that he had not 64 yet learned to handle more elaborate thinking i n l y r i c poetry. Whatever the reason, biographically speaking, we should rememb that the lightness of manner, the dramatic emphasis on a grace' f u l teasing of a loved woman, need not negate the observations e x p l i c i t or i m p l i c i t i n the poem. Indeed, the manner serves to emphasise a major point of the argument i n the poem, that a tender and responsive alertness i s needed to preserve a love which i n turn gives l i f e and fullness to those who love, IV Doctor Johnson has made the most famous c r i t i c i s m of the f i n a l part of "A Valediction: forbidding mourning": To the following comparison of a man that travels, and his wife that stays at home, with a pair of compasses, i t may be doubted whether absurdity or ingenuity has the better claim. He moves on to generalize about the passages he has considered In a l l these examples i t i s apparent, that whatever i s improper or vicious, i s produced by a voluntary deviation from nature i n pursuit of something new and strange; and that the writers f a i l to give delight, by t h e i r desire of exciting admi rat i on.12 Samuel Johnson, Lives of the English Poets (London, 1952), I, 28. 65 Doctor Johnson's attitude r e f l e c t s Dryden's remarks on Donne: He affects the metaphysics, not only i n his s a t i r e s , but i n his amorous verses, where nature only should reign; and perplexes the mind of the f a i r sex with nice speculations of philosophy, when he should engage t h e i r hearts, and entertain them with the softnesses of love. 1-3 While Dryden doubtless underestimates the i n t e l l i g e n c e of the f a i r sex and overestimates the biographical significance of Donne's love poems, he and Doctor Johnson have raised central questions about Donne. Do we not f e e l , i n "A Valediction: forbidding mourning", some disproportion between the di f f e r e n t elements i n the poem, a gap between the moment of sad farewell that allegedly occasions the poem, and the tone which Donne adopts, more solemn and l e s s teasing than that of "Sweetest love", but even more given to a puzzling extravagance? There seems to be a pedantic arrogance i n the ingenuity, a calculated excess i n image and idea. Yet the poem's manner suggests a great tenderness, and a humility before the mysteries i t confronts. The c r i t i c a l problem, with th i s and other poems, i s to decide how successfully, and how s i g n i f i c a n t l y , Donne has succeeded i n bringing the diverse q u a l i t i e s together. 13 John Dryden, A Discourse Concerning the Original and  Progress of Satire (l593), i n W.P. Ker (ed.), Essays of John  Dryden, (Oxford. 1900), p. 101. 66 The time of separation provokes an elaborate 'metaphysical' enquiry into the nature of the lover's union when i t i s subjected to physical separation: the enquiry i s conducted largely through a series of surprising images, from alchemy, from geometry, from astronomy. The assured love that i s dramatically presented i s counterpointed with an enquiry that probes the mysteries of love by concepts and images that are necessarily li m i t e d . Looking at the world around him, using di f f e r e n t concepts of i t s nature, i n order to say what the lovers are, Donne finds truth i n the least l i k e l y and most spectacular accounts. He can see that t h e i r love i s "elemented" i n physical attraction, that the separated lovers w i l l miss "eyes, l i p s , and hands", yet admits that they w i l l not need these things f o r love to survive; so he probes the question of how t h i s can be so. One of Donne's problems i s to probe and to celebrate so splendidly conceived a relationship without cliche' or pretension. Yet he f l i e s into the teeth of such dangers with l i n e s l i k e : 'Twere prophanation of our joyes To t e l l the l a y e t i e our love. He seems absurdly arrogant i n suggesting that t h e i r own love i s a s p e c i a l l y divine thing, that they belong to a p r i e s t l y caste. To some extent the stress on the sacredness and unique quality of t h e i r own love through r e l i g i o u s language i s a v a r i a t i o n on 67 a much-used theme. Yet Donne uses the language with such precision and delicacy of tone as to l e t his l i n e s reveal something true and important, that the excessive mourning he forbids would be untrue to t h e i r love because t h e i r joys are so intensely personal that a public show would make them look l i k e something they were not, and would indeed be destructive. He thus touches again on the theme of vulner-a b i l i t y of love that I mentioned with respect to "Sweetest love" and which i s important i n most of his love poetry, whatever i t s main emphasis. The l i n e s are a contribution to the main theme of the poem, the extent to which lovers are held together by things that can be neither seen nor defined except obliquely. Donne's technique — and t h i s case i s f a r from unusual — i s to adopt a cliche l i k e "the r e l i g i o n of love" language and to use i t with precision and a p l a y f u l touch so as to pose the question of how the cliche' may be profoundly true and to demonstrate how i t may be a useful way of saying things new and important. The poem works throughout by considering i m p o s s i b i l i t i e s as i f they were true, both the impossibility l i t e r a l l y of the lovers' own imperceptible melting and such impossible images as "gold to ayery thinnesse beate." Throughout, the impossible and the extravagant are presented i n a way that i s calculated 68 i n manner, yet tender, the l a t t e r feature a contrast with the manner of the Cowley poems that Doctor Johnson has associated with t h i s one. "A Valediction: forbidding mourning" i s a poem both p l a y f u l and serious wherein the speaker, assured of a loving union with a woman, and of that union's basis i n human nature, plays with a situ a t i o n and with ideas and images, not so much as a dramatic t a c t i c i n the 'dissuasion' of the woman, but rather to fin d a suitable way of contemplating and celebrating t h e i r union. However, the degree of sober playfulness i n the poem i s espe c i a l l y decorous i n view of the human s i t u a t i o n imagined and the structure of a dissuasive argument. V The playfulness i n "The Good-morrow" appears, dramatically, as an exuberance proper to a sense of joy when two people d i s -cover t h e i r love. Once again the exuberant play i s more than a way of declaring the extent or int e n s i t y of th e i r feelings. It i s a means of examining the significance of what has happened, of considering the present love i n the l i g h t of other things i n the world — t h e i r own world and that of other people — and against the fact of inevitable mortality that threatens a l l things human. 69 "The Good-morrow" makes i t s central affirmation at the beginning of the second stanza: And now good morrow to our waking soules, Which watch not one another out of feare. The tone here i s casual, though not complacent, combining a sense of wonder at thi s mutual discovery and a f e e l i n g of joy at i t s rightness and r e a l i t y . Though there i s a daring quality i n the morning greeting to two souls, the poetry focuses not on the paradox of the sit u a t i o n , but on i t s normalcy. In t h i s poem, the l i n e s are r e l a t i v e l y lacking i n e x p l i c i t wit, i n e x p l i c i t philosophical enquiry, although they are the f o c a l point f o r a considerable amount of each. Playfulness i s more apparent when the poem, resounding with the joy of this discovery, takes e x p l i c i t notice of other things, and hence of the value of the lovers' assertions. When this happens, the language becomes more generalized, more concerned with philosophical propositions, and also more openly excessive i n i t s range and claims. The f i r s t stanza's statement of the case against t h e i r past can easily s t r i k e the reader as i n f l a t e d , unnecessarily 70 excited and i n s i s t e n t : I wonder by my troth, what thou, and I Did, t i l l we lov'd? were we not wean'd t i l l then? But suck'd on countrey pleasures, c h i l d i s h l y ? Or snorted we i'the seaven sleepers den? 'Twas so; But t h i s , a l l pleasures fancies bee. I f ever any beauty I did see, Which I desir'd, and got, 'twas but a dreame of thee. The rapidly-changing images suggest a c t i v i t i e s at an i n s t i n c t u a l l e v e l , as of animals or children, the implication being that the lovers are now adult and f u l l y human. The a i r of t'ossed-off questions implies a s l i g h t l y flippant commitment to the accounts of themselves given i n the f i r s t four l i n e s . The gay bravado, suddenly concluding with the curt "'Twas so", tends to dismiss the subject of the past as of no great importance anyway. At the same time, however, the opening l i n e s help define the meaning of "we lov'd": i f this love i s not the unthinking p h y s i c a l i t y of the past, i t has grown i n some way out of i t . The souls addressed i n the second stanza are f a r from disembodied, the implied setting i s morning i n a l i t t l e room, with two people close enough fo r faces to be reflected i n eyes. It i s suggested too that the new love i s a more relaxed a c t i v i t y than c h i l d i s h sucking or the Vincent Buckley comments: "The f i r s t stanza i s even vehement i n i t s insistence on the f e e l i n g which i s both i t s motive-power and i t s subject. Yet i s has also, I think, something of that manipulative cerebral quality which i s as often a weakness as i t i s a strength i n Donne. I t i s exaggerated, hyperbolic; and while i t does not conceal, but reveals and presents a strong emotion, i t does so i n a s l i g h t l y lopsided manner" (Poetry and the Sacred, p. 102) 71 snorting of sleepers, something confirmed by the change to quieter rhythms \irhen the present i s more d i r e c t l y contemplated. The a i r of excited questioning i s also proper to the exuberant, yet bothered, lover that i s presented i n the poem. "The seaven sleepers den", while refer r i n g to the o f t -footnoted young men of Ephesus, r e c a l l s too those other sleepers, the inhabitants of Plato's cave who see only dreams and fantasies, never the t r u t h . The l i n e thus aids the t r a n s i t i o n to the more 'philosophic' language of the f i n a l l i n e s i n the f i r s t stanza, derived ultimately from that of Plato's Republic. Part of Donne's game i s to reverse Plato's notion of ' r e a l i t y ' and make the Form of Beauty a thoroughly mortal woman: But t h i s , a l l pleasures fancies bee. I f ever any beauty I did see, Which I desir'd, and got, 'twas but a dreame of thee. While these l i n e s introduce one of the poem's main themes, the status of human aspirations and dreams, t h e i r most obvious function i s the praise of the beloved. In t h i s , they adapt a conventional complimentary manner of much 'Petrarchan' love poetry. Comparison with these l i n e s from Spenser i s i n s t r u c t i v e : Yet are mine eyes so f i l l e d with the store of that f a i r e sight, that nothing else they brooke, but lothe the things which they did l i k e before, and can no more endure on them to looke. A l l t his worlds glory seemeth vayne to me, and a l l t h e i r showes but shadowes, sauing she. (Amoretti. XXXV.-) 72 Donne's l i n e s are more serious yet less solemn, more ambitious yet less pretentious. Donne's assertions about the status of the present relationship are not merely compliments, not merely indexes of the strength of his f e e l i n g , but are proposals that c a l l for serious consideration i n t h e i r own r i g h t . Given Donne's perspective and the circumstances, his claim, "But t h i s , a l l pleasures fancies bee", achieves the impersonality that T.S. E l i o t has claimed for Dante's account of love's effects i n l a V i t a Nuova: "Now Dante, I believe, had experiences which seemed to him of some importance . . . i n themselves: and therefore they seemed to him 15 to have some philosophical and impersonal value." Rhythmically, Spenser's l i n e s are solemn and eloquent, Donne's l i g h t e r and closer to those of speech. Donne's rhythms follow the expansion of mind and s p i r i t engaged i n celebrating and grasping a new self-awareness, a new state of being, a new sense of another person and of the p o s s i b i l i t i e s of love. In t h e i r lightness of movement, we f i n d at once an unselfconscious assertion of an extraordinary claim, and a detachment and s e l f - s c r u t i n y quite absent from Spenser's l i n e s . Here, c h a r a c t e r i s t i c a l l y , Donne affirms strongly, yet i n a manner that implies recognition of the fact that he i s speaking truth by means of metaphors and extreme notions which can be seen from most points of view as l i t e r a l l y absurd, which do depend on 5From "Dante", Selected Essays. 3rd ed-;:-.(:Dondon, 195l), pp. 272-273. 73 submission to a pa r t i c u l a r perspective. This kind of detach-ment, of which an a i r of self-mockery i s one sign, i s c r u c i a l to the success of much of Donne's poetry. Attention i n the second stanza moves from the lovers' celebration of t h e i r new discovery to the discoveries, by voyage or through maps, of contemporary geography: Let sea-discoverers to new worlds have gone, Let Maps to others, worlds on worlds have showne, Let us possesse our world, each hath one, and i s one. As i n the f i r s t stanza, an apparently conventional and extravagant gesture — one that rejects a l l else as i n s i g n i f i c a n t — i s a means of defining a si t u a t i o n . While the gesture implies an a i r of irresponsible s e l f - s a t i s f a c t i o n , the words are precise and r e a l i s t i c i n t h e i r claims: t h i s love does not eliminate a l l love of other sights, but controls i t , putting i t i n a new perspective. Unlike other explorers, who simply v i s i t new lands or those who observe t h e i r images on maps, the lovers may "possesse our world", for "each hath one, and i s one." These references to other a c t i v i t i e s provide too a way of expressing something of the magnificent quality of t h e i r own discovery. Yet can the lovers r e a l l y reject the rest of the world any more than they can wholly reject t h e i r own past? "One 74 l i t t l e roome" can not be "an every where" fo r long -- except perhaps for "the seaven sleepers". The language here comple-ments the overt argument by i n s i s t i n g on the excess of lovers' aspirations even while providing a means of c l a r i f y i n g those aspirations. Aspirations, which are not only gestures and do have t h e i r own kind of r e a l i t y — as i n "To his Coy Mistress" — are played against more mundane p r o b a b i l i t i e s , a contrast which i s i n t e n s i f i e d i n the f i n a l stanza. The simple r e f l e c t i o n of faces i n eyes, while offered as emblematic of the lovers' s e l f - s u f f i c i e n c y and closeness, appears i n i t s apparently simple beauty as s l i g h t l y pathetic and ominous: My face i n thine eye, thine i n mine appeares, And true plaine hearts doe i n the faces rest, Where can we finde two better hemispheares Without sharpe North, without declining West? Byes are usually regarded as r e f l e c t i o n s of the immortal soul; these eyes r e f l e c t mortal f a o e s , ^ With the open question, "Where can we f i n d . . .?" Donne moves into a more d i r e c t and philosophic consideration of the odds confronting lovers i n a mortal world. Once again language that i s used overtly as a The observation derives from conversations with Mr Evan Jones of the University of Melbourne. 7 5 means of unqualified praise has inescapable implications that are part of the whole logic of the poem. The f i r s t stanza hints at mortality with i t s reminder that the marvellous "now" exists i n time for people who have grown to i t from other kinds of relationship, who by t h e i r very humanity are d i f f e r e n t from unchanging forms of beauty. The second stanza considers that this " l i t t l e roome" i s only part of a world of continuous a c t i v i t y and exploration; then, with i t s concluding series of l i n e s beginning with "Let", i n s i s t s on the importance of sustained w i l l i n g i f love i s to l a s t . The t h i r d stanza, with a l l of i t s fine f l o u r i s h , acknowledges that, i n terms of the philosophic language e x p l i c i t l y used, a l l things mortal, people included, are composed of unequal mixtures, that death and change are the l o t of mankind: What ever dyes, was not mixt equally; I f our two loves be one, or, thou and I Love so a l i k e , that none doe slacken, none can die. The important " i f " and the discordant rhythms of these l i n e s contrast with the assertive firmness of "And now good morrow to our waking soules". Even i n these f i n a l l i n e s , the p o s s i b i l i t i e s are l e f t open: perhaps t h i s love i s so perfect that the miraculous may happen. The discord and questioning 76 are l e f t i n tension with the desire — which controls the overt statement — that present aspirations may become future r e a l i t y i n spite of a l l against t h i s happening. Love i s being put to the test i n i t s most exuberant moment: though slackening may come, the "waking soules" watch not "out of feare", but i n love. "Thou and I" for a moment, at least, become "we", and the very aspiration to remain so i s of some value: Donne, with char a c t e r i s t i c playfulness, probes the question of how much value the aspiration has while playing his own variations on the mode of celebratory love poetry. VI As compliment to a beloved woman, "The Sunne Rising" i s even more extravagant, even more of a spectacular performance. But i t i s also quite a serious assessment of the powers of lovers and of the l i m i t s within which these powers operate. The sun threatens the lovers i n several ways. F i r s t , i t i s a reminder that they are not i n eternity, that the most d e l i g h t f u l of a c t i v i t i e s come to a stop: Busie old foole, unruly Sunne, Why dost thou thus, Through windowes, and through curtaines c a l l on us? Must to thy motions lovers seasons run? Part of the joke i n the f i r s t l i n e i s that the sun must be among 77 the least "unruly" of things. It i s i t s e l f ruled by laws that make i t s motions u t t e r l y predictable, and i t thus becomes the basis of man's own ordering of time, from year to year, from day to day. To c a l l such a sun "unruly" becomes a joke with p a r t i c u l a r point, implying the existence of other rules — those of lovers — compared with which the sun i s out of order. The poem expands the suggestion that there are alternative ways of seeing r e a l i t y . Both the gay gesture — rejection of an "old foole" — and the suggested alternatives are part of the way people can assert themselves against things that threaten t h e i r desires and actions. Once again, we are presented with tensions of man's condition, with the c o n f l i c t between aspiring ' s p i r i t ' and l i m i t i n g 'flesh'. 'Flesh', as i n St. Paul, suggests those aspects of man's l i f e that make him a slave to necessities. But ' s p i r i t ' i n this poem i s associated, paradoxically but c h a r a c t e r i s t i c a l l y for the Donne of Songs and Sonnets. with a most 'fleshly' a c t i v i t y , being i n bed with a woman. The very assertions of the poem are i n some ways doomed — as the apparently whimsical extravagance admits — and the word 'unruly' carries also the reminder that the sun i s indeed unable to be ruled by lovers or affected by anything they do. In t h i s independence, the sun i s properly associated with the a c t i v i t i e s of everyday and courtly worlds referred to 78 i n the following l i n e s : Sawcy pedantique wretch, goe chide Late schoole boyes, and sowre prentices, G-oe t e l l Court-huntsmen, that the King w i l l ride, C a l l countrey ants to harvest o f f i c e s ; Love, a l l a l i k e , no season knowes, nor clyme, Nor houres, dayes, months, which are the rags of time. The l a s t two l i n e s of the stanza refer to the 'time' dilemma with t h e i r own kind of sad playfulness. The pretence i s that the lovers have escaped time and mortality. S i g n i f i c a n t l y , the subject of the sentence i s the abstract 'love' rather than 'lovers' who do not attain such b l i s s . As I nave observed elsewhere, such precision of language helps make conventional-looking gestures something more. For a l l t h e i r l i m i t a t i o n s , lovers are not powerless: Thy beames, so reverend, and strong Why shouldst thou thinke? I could eclipse and cloud them with a winke, But that I would not lose her sight so long. This l i t e r a l l y absurd claim i s at least an image f o r a power they do have, f o r at least some of the time: to remove the sun from t h e i r consciousness. The poem becomes an assertion of the l i b e r a t i n g power of man's w i l l and imagination, a l l the more impressive because i t acknowledges so amply the things which l i m i t that power. The very s p i r i t of playfulness, 79 that capacity of the human mind, i s something against which the sun and a l l the 'worldly' things i t represents i n this poem remain impotent. So the playfulness of the poem becomes more than a technical device f o r introducing and contrasting different values and images: i t i s part of the meaning. Such play becomes for Donne an i n t e l l e c t u a l act, a way of understanding things, as we see by comparison with two other poems which use — and may be sources f o r — important images of "The Sunne Rising". In his Amores. as translated by Christopher Marlowe i n the 1590's, Ovid too represents the sun as a person capable of moving at w i l l : Wow o'er the sea from her old love comes she That draws the day from heaven's cold axle-tree. Aurora, whither s l i d e s t thou? down again, And birds f o r Memmon yearly s h a l l be s l a i n . . . . . Thou leav'st his bed, because he's f a i n t through age, And early mountest thy hateful carriage; But held'st thou i n thy arms some Cephalus, Then would'st thou cry, 'Stay night, and run not thus.' Dost punish me, because years make him wane? I did not bid thee wed an aged swain. (Book I, Elegia XIII.) I have already argued f o r the i n t e l l e c t u a l power and precision of Donne's writing. In the r ambling l i n e s of Marlowe's Ovid, as i n the o r i g i n a l Latin, the conceit i s only a useful r h e t o r i c a l device for a virtuoso display of rather i n s i p i d wit, the kind 80 which Donne superseded i n his own Elegies. Like Donne> Spenser can relate the splendour of his beloved to the wealth of f a r - o f f places: Ye t r a d e f u l l Merchants, that with weary toyle, do seeke most pretious things to make your gain; and both the Indias of t h e i r treasures spoile, what needeth you to seeke so farre i n vaine? Por loe my loue doth i n her s e l f e containe a l l t h i s worlds riches that may farre be found. (Amoretti. XV) Donne's version of the idea i s <sven more ambitious: I f her eyes have not blinded thine, Looke, and to morrow l a t e , t e l l mee, Whether both the'India's of spice and Myne Be where thou l e f t s t them, or l i e here with mee. Aske f o r those Kings whom thou saw'st yesterday, And thou shalt heare, A l l here i n one bed lay. His beloved does not merely "containe" riches: she is. them. As well as being, l i k e Spenser's, a f a n c i f u l compliment, Donne's l i n e s probe the implications of his conceits, considering the question of where true wealth i s to be found, and continuing his practice of opposing new value judgments to those commonly accepted. The success of the f i n a l stanza of "The Sunne Rising" depends on a merging of t h i s l a s t conceit — the beloved as being a l l wealth — and the e a r l i e r one of the sun as a free 81 agent. Confidently asserting the glory of the two lovers, She'is a l l States, and a l l Princes, I, Nothing else i s . Princes doe but play us; compar'd to t h i s , A l l honor's mimique; A l l wealth alchimie, Donne patronizingly offers a i d to the aged sun, the f i n a l p l a y f u l sign that he f e e l s liberated from the sun's tyranny, i n s p i r i t i f not i n f l e s h : Thine age askes ease, and since thy duties bee To warme the world, that's done i n warming us. Shine here to us, and thou a r t every where; This bed thy centre i s , these walls, thy spheare. Even i n the assertion of triumph, Donne admits t h e i r dependence on the sun — and thus on what i t represents — since he asks for i t s continued presence and warmth. The assertion of man's ' s p i r i t ' continues to acknowledge and to accept his f l e s h l y condition. VII Most of the poems discussed i n t h i s chapter belong to the second group of Songs and Sonnets i n Helen Gardner's edition, 17 on which she comments : "General Introduction" to The Elegies and the Songs  and Sonnets. p. l v i i . 82 I would suggest that we should think of the Songs and  Sonnets as f a l l i n g into two d i s t i n c t sets of poems: those written before Donne became attracted by Neoplatonic conceptions, and those which show the influence of Neoplatonism or are written i n forms that he appears to have developed to express these s u b t l e t i e s . It i s no surprise that Donne should adapt available philosophic language which was i t s e l f a response to human and philosophic problems which concerned him. But i t i s also s i g n i f i c a n t that, as Helen Gardner notes a few l i n e s e a r l i e r : . . . some of the clearest expressions of Neoplatonic conceptions are to be found i n poems written in.the simplest verse-forms: 'The Undertaking' and 'The Ecstasy' i n quatrains, and 'Image and Dream' i n unvarying decasyllables. As well as being among the least interesting poems metrically, these poems are r e l a t i v e l y passionless and unfounded i n a 'present s i t u a t i o n ' . In being r e l a t i v e l y undramatic, they tend to lack the more spontaneous extravagance which marks many other poems of this 'second group'. The poems I especially wish to examine are those where the playfulness i s associated with a passionately serious utterance which does not seem primarily concerned with a witty arguing of some point. They are poems of s e l f - r e f l e c t i o n which consider with great i n t e l l e c t u a l and imaginative scope the r i c h -ness and complexity of human relationships. In selecting from them, I seek not a representative survey but an understanding of 83 how, i n some major poems, the various 'elements' are related; i n p a r t i c u l a r , of how the p l a y f u l q u a l i t i e s are related to themes which sometimes fi n d p a r t i a l expression i n Neoplatonic language, or i n that of body-soul language as commonly used throughout the Western t r a d i t i o n of thought. Others, such as A.J. Smith and Helen Gardner, have examined Donne's ideas i n r e l a t i o n to Renaissance Neoplatonic philosophy and the l i k e , but there i s less discussion on such points as the poems' frequent jokes about the speed and power of the sun, which are also a response to the questions that some Neoplatonic philosophy deals with. I am concerned to examine poems where plays on 'philosophic' language are related to other kinds of play, and based i n human situations passionately presented i n the poetry, rather than the more abstract 'manifesto' poems, though these too may be passionate i n t h e i r way. A l l of the poems so f a r examined assume an existing love of some sort. I t i s scarcely surprising that such poems are intensely aware of tensions between 'Soul' and 'Body', ' S p i r i t ' and 'Flesh', 'mortal' and 'immortal': lovers are most l i k e l y to a f f i r m the unity of people, as well as to affirm that the mortal nature of the body i s a l i m i t to t h e i r aspirations. Their joyous affirmations are q u a l i f i e d by threats of mortality, of r e a l death and of 'fain'd deaths', of changes and other 84 business a f f e c t i n g t h e i r hoped-for s e l f - s u f f i c i e n c y . Variations among the poems depend pa r t l y on whether attention i s focussed more on present joys or on losses, past or present or future. In the poems I discuss i n the rest of th i s chapter, the tone becomes increasingly darker, though never thoroughly pessimistic. VIII "The Canonization", l i k e "The Sunne Rising", pretends to be a response, at f i r s t defensive, f i n a l l y arrogant and patronizing, to outside interference — t h i s time by implied c r i t i c i s m — with Donne's loving. Once again, the need f o r defence provides an occasion f o r an affirmation of the splendour of love that f i n a l l y becomes an o f f e r of aid to those less fortunate. Its transitions are less smoothly managed than those of "The Sunne Rising", and the manner less dramatic, i n spite of the splendidly t h e a t r i c a l opening l i n e . Some of the ef f e c t comes from the cleverly contrived recurrence of "love" and i t s rhymes, which become 'perfect' only i n the f i n a l two l i n e s of the poem. The f i r s t stanza extravagantly demands that a l l else be regarded as subordinate to Donne's loving. The second becomes even more petulant as he a l t e r s the manner of defence to minimize the power of love. It cannot a f f e c t the things which the world finds important, some of which he mocks ea s i l y , Soldiers finde warres, and Lawyers finde out s t i l l L i t i g i o u s men, which quarrels move, 85 some of which are less e a s i l y dismissed, for a l l the a i r of i r r i t a t e d r e j e c t i o n : When did the heats which my veines f i l l Adde one man to the plaguie B i l l ? Here, i n a dif f e r e n t tone, i s the fa m i l i a r contrast between the would-be s e l f - s u f f i c i e n t world of lovers and the world they at least attempt to r e j e c t . Part of the wit here i s i n the adaption of the cliches of 'Petrarchan* poetry and t h e i r contrast to mundane images of worldly a f f a i r s . So far, the poem tends to be a s l i g h t l y hollow r h e t o r i c a l defence of 'love' and i t i s unclear just what Donne i s doing with his contrasts. The tone a l t e r s i n the t h i r d stanza, when Donne begins to speak of "us". In r e l a t i o n to the poem's 'rhetorical structure', i t s function i s to contrast valuations of lovers by showing that h o s t i l e images intended to debase them can be seen from a different perspective, and adapted to become a means of praise: C a l l us what you w i l l , wee'are made such by love; C a l l her one, mee another f l y e , We'are Tapers too, and at our owne cost die. This i s a c h a r a c t e r i s t i c a l l y clever t a c t i c , but the progression from here i s more than merely a ' t a c t i c ' , though i t i s also a f i t t i n g part of the 'argument' developed through the poem: 86 And wee i n us finde the'Eagle and the Dove; The Phoenix r i d l e hath more wit By us, we two being one, are i t , So, to one n e u t r a l l thing both sexes f i t . Wee dye and r i s e the same, and prove Mysterious by this love. Like that of the second stanza, the imagery i s s t i l l derived from that of 'Petrarchan' love poetry, but i s carried further by the force of Donne's tough arrogance, by his combination of jokes about the physiology of sex with great affirmations of the splendours of love. As i n other poems, Donne asserts that man r e a l l y comes to l i f e only when he i s wholly responding to another person. The language explores the nature of the response, the quality of the mutuality, and the improved quality of poetry written i n response to a sense of 'us' supports the assertion of love's splendour, something i n -accessible to the carping and defensive writing of the f i r s t two stanzas. The fourth stanza plays along with variations of yet more conventional images. It returns to the theme of how lovers are related to yet d i f f e r e n t from other people, but i t s contrasts are quieter and more assured than those of the e a r l i e r stanzas. Then suddenly contrasts end and the poem declares a new status for lovers, and a new relationship to other people: 87 And by these hynm.es, a l l s h a l l approve Us Canoniz'd f o r Love. This affirmation leads to the text of the invocation which others may properly make to them, an invocation which gives yet other accounts of how the lovers see themselves i n r e l a t i o n to the rest of the world* Introduction of the idea of canonization, followed by the text of a prayer i s another clever Donne innovation on an old theme, the r e l i g i o n of love. Once more the assertion i s p l a y f u l l y extravagant yet ' j u s t i f i e d ' by i t s part i n the poem's o v e r a l l structure. But here too play i s more than an o r a t o r i c a l device, f o r the group of f a n c i f u l notions advanced and the tone i n which they are offered reveal once more something of the quality of t h e i r love. The s p i r i t i n which Donne speaks of love, the assessment implied by the way i n which the obvious extravagance i s modified by strong elements of self-mockery, the 'epitomizing' value of love when set against the i n a b i l i t y of lovers to aff e c t the world much at a l l : these are a l l ways of uncovering the nature of loving. We are shown people of varying passions, two people incl i n e d to separate from the world yet inevitably defining t h e i r love i n terms of i t , people f o r whom sexual delights are also an entry into a 'religious' mystery. 88 IX "The Anniversarie" also varies i t s attitudes, thus seeming to trace the development of thoughts and feelings of a person considering his situation. I t begins by asserting love's freedom from time and common human a f f a i r s , yet ends; by clinging t i g h t l y to measured time: "Let us . . . adde . . Yeares and yeares unto yeares." An apparently optimistic f i r s t stanza i s answered by a gloomier second, with some resolution coming i n the more sober affirmations of the t h i r d . The f i r s t stanza contrasts: A l l Kings, and a l l t h e i r favorites, A l l glory' of honors, beauties, wits, The Sun i t s e l f e , which makes times, as they passe, not with eternal lovers, but with "love": Only our love hath no decay; This no to morrow hath, nor yesterday, Running i t never runs from us away, But t r u l y keepes his f i r s t , l a s t , everlasting day. The love i s seen as other than themselves: though i t appears i n time, "running", i t i s separate from the mortal and "elder" The l i n e i n Helen Gardner's edition begins, "This no to tomorrow hath," obviously a misprint. Both Grierson and Shawcross give the l i n e as above. 89 things of which "they", as mortal beings, are a part. Yet lovers do have some share i n the immortality, just as the i m p l i c i t comparisons offe r them some share i n the earthly glories mentioned i n the opening l i n e s . Later, they are e x p l i c i t l y said to be Kings themselves, and thus sharers i n that i n i t i a l " A l l " . Donne heightens the paradoxes of lovers' mortality and immortality, and thus allows himself the wit of such a l i n e as "Running i t never runs from us away", and other splendid praises of the love whose anniversary i s being celebrated. The praise i s heightened by the awe and tenderness which makr the rhythms, as the stanza r i s e s quietly to i t s conclusion, the longest i n a series of four successive rhyming l i n e s . In view of t h e i r s i t u a t i o n , aspiring to and sharing i n the immortal, but bound by mortality^ we might expect the poem to argue f o r an escape from mortal bonds. The poem surprises by doing the opposite, r e j e c t i n g the love of heaven for that available on earth. This too i s a game, since they have l i t t l e control anyway over t h e i r future, even i n the matter of where t h e i r graves w i l l be: Two graves must hide thine and my coarse, If one might, death were no divorce. Alas, as well as other Princes, wee, (Who Prince enough i n one another bee,) Must leave at l a s t i n death, these eyes, and eares. 90 The reasons given f o r rejection of heavenly love seem s l i g h t l y r i d i c u l o u s : And then wee s h a l l be throughly blest, But wee no more, then a l l the rest. Here upon earth, we'are Kings, and none but wee Can be such Kings, nor of such subjects bee. Why does Donne appear to care so much about being equally blessed with others? Partly because insistence on difference from other people i s a means of se l f - p r a i s e , partly because blessedness a f t e r death i s irrelevant to what he values now. It i s a l l very well to be "throughly blest" and to have "a love increased there above", but what i s especially valuable i s t h e i r mutual power: Who i s so safe as wee? where none can doe Treason to us, except one of us two. As well as p l a y f u l l y rejecting the prospect of a better love a f t e r death, and returning w i t t i l y to the idea that the love people can do something about exists here and now, Donne l i g h t l y touches the warning note found i n "Sweetest love . . .": i f fear enters, lovers may unwittingly do each other harm. Li g h t l y and graciously, he hints that the "treason" may be fear, and affirms his acceptance of the mortal condition, where people are vulnerable, but able to act and " l i v e " : 91 True and false feares l e t us refraine, Let us love nobly,'and l i v e , and adde againe Yeares and yeares unto yeares, t i l l we attaine To write threescore: t h i s i s the second of our raigne. The basic point of a l l t h i s witty argument i s that i t i s better to " l i v e " as f u l l y as possible, with the whole of one's being, than to aspire to an absolute and bodiless i d e a l , represented 19 by the idea of a soul being freed from the grave of the body. The return to the image of kingship stresses the themes of power and splendour, q u a l i t i e s proper to true lovers. The repeated " l e t us" which introduces the f i n a l splendid sentence i s a reminder that "our love" — which i s to be worked at for another f i f t y - n i n e years, he hopes — depends on the active and conscious p a r t i c i p a t i o n of those who can "love nobly,'and l i v e " . To emphasise that he i s f o r the present playing with notions of what happens a f t e r death, Donne uses an 'absolute' notion that runs counter to the Christian b e l i e f i n the resurrection of the body, a b e l i e f underlying the f i r s t stanza of "The Relique". (Helen Gardner comments on p.200 of her edition that "the concept of the soul as buried i n the body i s unusual i n Donne and i s quickly repudiated i n the next stanza."). His playing with t h i s notion i s a way of rejecting, by mockery, an absolutely Platonic view of love, as well as a way of facing the certainty of death and thus leading to the d i s t i n c t i o n s of the f i n a l stanza. 92 X "The Relique" adopts a theme of "The Canonization", that reverence f o r lovers increases a f t e r t h e i r death, and makes i t part of i t s own more spectacular alternations between accounts of love that minimize lovers and those that magnify t h e i r worth. Ever-present i s the certainty of death, the certainty which comments on whatever fine notions lovers may have of themselves. Many of the poems I have considered above seem i n danger of disintegrating from a c o n f l i c t of tone and attitudes, from a c o n f l i c t between the alleged feelings and the manner of writing, or because Donne t r i e s to do too much i n the one poem. The threat i s especially present i n "The Relique": j o s t l i n g side by side are grotesque graveyard images and emblems of courtly regard, cynical comments on female promiscuity and suggestions of great tenderness, rapid changes i n scenario and i n time. The witty interplay among the poses Donne takes i s heightened by the effect of the poem's formal structure. Each stanza begins with two rhyming couplets, four stresses to the l i n e , encouraging short, pithy statements; then comes a group of four l i n e s with a more complex interplay of rhymes and l i n e -lengths, encouraging a more e x p l i c i t , yet evasive, playfulness; f i n a l l y comes a group of three equally long rhyming l i n e s , i n v i t i n g a f u l l e r , tenderer, and more substantial conclusion 93 to the stanza. Given the di v e r s i t y , the reader i s invited to wonder how seriously the poem leads into i t s f i n a l affirmations: These miracles wee did; but now alas, A l l measure, and a l l language, I should passe, Should I t e l l what a miracle shee was. In a poem about fantasies and conceits, about judgments true and f a l s e , how t r u l y does Donne offer these l i n e s of praise? The f i r s t stanza jokes about death, about women, and about Donne himself. With the casual reference to his grave being "broke up againe", and the subsequent 'aside', (For graves have learn'd that woman-head To be to more then one a Bed), Donne gives the impression of indifference to death and to women. The subsequent l i n e s come, then, as something of a surprise. The "bracelet of bright haire about the bone" i s revealed as an emblem for the lovers' attitude to each other, and f o r t h e i r b e l i e f i n the unity of body and soul, a unity to be restored on "the l a s t busie day". Tet the device i s pat h e t i c a l l y f u t i l e i n these respects: the bones w i l l not even l i e undisturbed, and the probable pun on " l i e s " i s a reminder that the lovers cannot honestly expect t h e i r device to be e f f e c t i v e . On the one hand, Donne finds i n himself great aspirations, a tendency to magnificent fantasies about the power 94 of love. On the other i s the tendency to minimize a l l of t h i s : nobody w i l l respect or even recognize his grave, he and his beloved w i l l be i n s i g n i f i c a n t among the great crowd to appear at the l a s t day; besides, women are not habitually f a i t h f u l , and love w i l l end only i n death and pathos. What the lovers have achieved i s precarious — the stanza's main clause i s "Wil l he not let'us alone", a plea f o r privacy — yet of some worth, which the poem goes on to consider. After a stanza which tends to minimize the lovers, and to seek privacy as necessary f o r t h e i r small triumph, the emphases of the second come as a contrast. Its main point i s that public recognition of the r e l i c w i l l lead to a fa l l a c i o u s magnifying of the lovers' significance. Yet, f o r a l l of his disclaimers, I f t h i s f a l l i n a time, or land, Where mis-devotion doth command, Donne evasively acquiesces i n the fals e claims of greatness. He puts a l l the energy of his wit into proposing them, his tone implies a measure of approval, and the subsequent l o g i c suggests that they are at least partly accepted: 95 Then, he that digges us up, w i l l bring Us, to the Bishop, and the Zing, To make us Reliques; then Thou shalt be'a Mary Magdalen, and I A something else thereby; A l l women s h a l l adore us, and some men; And since at such times, miracles are sought, I would that age were by thi s paper taught What miracles wee harmlesse lovers wrought. Having the great claims f o r the lovers depend on the words of others i n an improbable future s i t u a t i o n l e t s Donne evade personal r e s p o n s i b i l i t y for them, but i t also suggests that, though lovers may prefer privacy, any high assessment of them depends on a more public declaration. In the second stanza, as i n the f i r s t , the f i n a l three l i n e s are a quiet contrast to the e a r l i e r ones: a f t e r obvious excesses, mysterious hints ("A something else thereby"), and 'clever' comments ("All women s h a l l adore us, and some men"), they have a quieter wit, i n the pose of the naive and innocent lover offering to the future his feeble gesture which yet may be more than a gesture i f i t leads people to change t h e i r normal perspectives. The poem has rested on a tension between two simple propositions: that the lovers are great and that they are i n s i g n i f i c a n t . The truth of each i s comprehended i n the one l i n e with the contrast of "miracles" and "harmlesse". 96 Here i s a recurrence, then, of a theme common to many-poems by Donne and Marvell, the r e l a t i o n between withdrawal and 'public' commitment, both necessary, yet seemingly incompatible. As i n "The Canonization", Donne claims that lovers w i l l serve the world through t h e i r withdrawal from i t . The proposal r e c a l l s New Testament remarks about Christians' r e l a t i o n to the world, and thus some of the discussion of S p i r i t - F l e s h contrasts. Donne's use of 'religious* imagery emphasises t h i s connection which he makes p l a y f u l l y , but by no means t r i v i a l l y . The innocent pose i s carried through the t h i r d stanza, magnified to the point of apparent absurdity when Donne claims: Difference of sex no more wee knew, Then our Guardian Angells doe * This overstatement, playing on the ambiguity of "knew", expands the previous notion that the lovers were unable to comprehend the mystery of t h e i r own love: F i r s t , wee lov'd well and f a i t h f u l l y , Yet knew not what wee lov'd, nor why. It also prepares the way fo r the subsequent notion concerning the respect they had f o r each other: 97 Comming and going, wee Perchance might kisse, but not between those meales. By presenting the extraordinary miracles as a kind of joke, Donne i s acknowledging that l i t e r a l accounts of lovers' words and deeds are l i k e l y to be d u l l and commonplace. Offering them hyperbolically and w i t t i l y suggests ways i n which even the commonplace may be seen as unique and worthy of the greatest respect. With his apparently l i b e r t i n e comment, Our hands ne'r toucht the seales, Which nature, injur'd by late law, sets free, Donne plays once more with B i b l i c a l notions, those of 'nature', 'law', and 'freedom*. Since the lovers apparently despise the 'law' as a rule f o r behaviour, but did not follow 'nature*, they must have been l i v i n g by the S p i r i t . Purther, Donne implies that, i n the normal view of things, t h e i r behaviour was f o o l i s h , but he immediately likens such foolishness to 20 that of saints: "These miracles wee did". The analogy brings into a new l i g h t the e a r l i e r themes of the p o t e n t i a l greatness of the seemingly f o o l i s h and i n s i g n i f i c a n t . Donne Compare the discussion of wisdom and foolishness i n I Cor.i, 18-27, and of nature, law, and s p i r i t , frequently i n Paul's E p i s t l e s . 98 proves himself wise i n his foolishness, i n his behaviour and i n his apparently f o o l i s h poetry. The pose of the ridiculous man has enabled him to praise his love and to give some insight into i t s significance. The f i n a l three l i n e s make e x p l i c i t the pose of helpless-ness present i n the corresponding l i n e s of the e a r l i e r stanzas: These miracles wee did; but now alas, A l l measure, and a l l language, I should passe, Should I t e l l what a miracle shee was. Donne merges one t r a d i t i o n a l theme of love poetry, the impo s s i b i l i t y of describing a beloved, with a theme which has i t s great poetic expression i n the f i n a l canto of Dante's Paradiso. the impo s s i b i l i t y of comprehending the sacred. Such affirmation of weakness becomes i t s e l f a high form of tribute, and the manner i n which Donne makes i t i s a paradoxical sign of his strength, a humble understanding of the l i m i t s of his own powers. "The Relique" develops the theme of love-as-religion not merely as a basis for a w i t t i l y complimentary monologue, but because the analogies between love and r e l i g i o n , though dangerous i f not treated with i n t e l l i g e n t detachment, are f e l t as r e a l and important. Since the r e l i g i o u s s e n s i b i l i t y behind such poetry, by Donne or by his predecessors, speaks of God as love, t h i s i s hardly surprising. The success of "The Relique" and of many other 9 9 poems depends on the a b i l i t y to consider love as something ' o f mortal men and women, with a l l the consequent l i m i t a t i o n s , yet nevertheless as an experience of an immortal S p i r i t . XI "A Nocturnall upon S.Lucies Day, being the shortest day" i s one of Donne's most d i f f i c u l t and important poems. Its witty argument i s dense and obscure, i t s tone complex and elusive. "In t h i s poem v i r t u o s i t y sounds the depths", remarks George 21 Williamson. "What. exactly, are we to c a l l 'A Nocturnall Upon S.Lucies Day'? Is i t a love poem? a re l i g i o u s meditation? 22 a lament? a metaphysical speculation? Or a l l these, and more?" Various c r i t i c s have offered useful insights, but a l l remain 23 baff l e d by the poem. 21 George Williamson, The Proper Wit of Poetry (London, 1961), p. 37. 22 Vincent Buckley, Poetry and the Sacred, p. 106. 23 Most Donne c r i t i c s have something to say on the poem. Prank Kermode's comments i n h i s John Donne (London, 1957) are suggestive but b r i e f . Unconvincing readings are given i n Doniphan Louthan's The Poetry of John Donne (New York, 195l) and N.J.C. Andreasen's John Donne; Conservative Revolutionary (Princeton, N.J., 1967). The following are among the more important essays devoted to the poem: Richard Sleight's discussion i n John Wain (ed.), Interpretations (London, 1955); W.A. Murray, "Donne and Paracelsus", RES, XXV (1949), 115-123; J.A. Mazzeo, "Notes on John Donne's Alchemical Imagery", i n his Renaissance and  Seventeenth-Century Studies (London, 1964); Clarence H. M i l l e r , "Donne's "A Nocturnall upon S.Lucies Day" and the Nocturns of Matins", SEL, VI (1966), 77-86. 100 A central theme i n the poem i s the p o s s i b i l i t y of renewal from the depths of loss and desolation: the desolation i s presented most eloquently, yet Donne modifies the proposition that he i s permanently sunk i n g r i e f . As elsewhere, Donne sees himself as part of a universe of recurring cycles, related to the progress of the sun. The world i s poised at the nadir of blackness, which i s also the point where renewal may begin: •Tie the yeares midnight, and i t i s the dayes, At the next world, that i s , at the next Spring: You lovers, f o r whose sake, the lesser Sunne At t h i s time to the Goat i s runne To fetch new l u s t , and give i t you, Enjoy your summer a l l ; . . . since t h i s Both the yeares, and the dayes deep midnight i s . Donne's argument seems to be that while he i s associated with one aspect of nature, the apparent withdrawal of l i g h t and of l i f e , he i s unaffected by the complementary aspect, t h a t l i f e and l i g h t must return to the earth. But can a man be so selective i n h i s r e l a t i o n to natural events? While the f i n a l stanza denies Donne's own association with nature's cycles, i t s imagery i n s i s t s that summer complements winter, day complements night. In explaining his difference from other men i n respect to seasonal urges, Donne expands the 101 idea of l i t u r g i c a l celebration suggested i n the poem's t i t l e : Since shee enjoyes her long nights f e s t i v a l l , Let mee prepare towards her, and l e t mee c a l l This houre her V i g i l l , and her Eve, since t h i s Both the yeares, and the dayes deep midnight i s . The Christian l i t u r g i c a l f e s t i v a l s recognise the l i n k s between man's l i f e and the recurrent seasonal and da i l y events, but also r e c a l l the promise of l i b e r a t i o n from those cycles, r e l a t i n g the recurrent events to a salvation e t e r n a l l y present yet awaiting i t s f u l f i l m e n t . Donne's language i n the f i n a l l i n e s suggests that he sees his own future i n such a context. Unlike other lovers, Donne does not expect a regular renewal ("nor w i l l my Sunne renew"), but he can expect to approach the beloved through his active p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n a nocturnal r i t u a l at "the dark time of the year". The eve of a great feast i s properly a time of penance before the commemoration of and association with the saint; by p a r t i c i p a t i n g i n the " V i g i l l " of a feast, by giving r i t u a l shape to g r i e f , one becomes f i t to celebrate the feast. In t h i s case, the feast seems to be associated with the f i n a l Resurrection, which brings l i b e r a t i o n from cycles and such f l e s h l y bonds, as well as reunion. The poem i t s e l f i s such a r i t u a l , one which suggests the potential value of the present desolation. By the attitude he takes to his own sorrow, Donne suggests the p o s s i b i l i t y of moving beyond i t . 102 The f i n a l a n t i c i p a t i o n of Resurrection and reunion reveals a change i n the emotion of the poem, a contrast to the e a r l i e r desolation: Por I am every dead thing, In whom love wrought new Alchimie. Por his art did expresse A quintessence even from nothingnesse, But I am by her death, (which word wrongs her) Of the f i r s t nothing, the E l i x e r grown. Yet the very trend of Donne's lo g i c of 'annihilation', bringing him to the E l i x e r of the nothing that existed before the f i r s t creation, i n v i t e s i t s own reversal. The language implies some impending creation, a more r a d i c a l act than the renewal which comes i n the normal cycles of human a f f a i r s . Creation-depends on an act of w i l l independent of recurrent seasonal processes, although the man to be renewed remains i n some harmony with the rhythms of his world: "Since t h i s / Both the yeares, and the dayes deep midnight i s . " The pun on "Eve", the f i r s t woman, discovered by the newly created Adam, gives some further continuity with e a r l i e r references to G-od' s f i r s t creation. Donne offers contradictions, apparent and r e a l , as part of a t i g h t l y organized poem, and challenges us to make of them what we w i l l , just as he must do himself. By playing thus, Donne i s true to a complex interplay of feelings and ideas 103 which, seem to p u l l i n d i f f e r e n t directions u n t i l they emerge i n a firm yet mysterious conviction. The f i n a l outcome depends on acts of w i l l ("Let mee prepare", " l e t mee c a l l " ) which are also acts of f a i t h . But the outcome also depends on an extraordinary playfulness of mind, and i t seems to assert that such play i s the only way i n which he can "prepare towards her", for the poem's own distorted account of Donne's condition has also been a way of c l a r i f y i n g i t and giving i t direction, i t s e l f an act of r i t u a l preparation. As i f to warn against the dangers of trusting so much to the imagination, Donne p l a y f u l l y refers to the lovers' tendency to indulge i n fantasies: Oft a flood Have wee two wept, and so Drownd the whole world, us two; oft did we grow To be two Chaosses, when we did show Care to ought else; and often absences Withdrew our soules, and made us carcasses. Donne r e c a l l s here language of the 'Petrarchan' t r a d i t i o n of love poetry as adapted by himself, especially i n valedictory poems. The main point seems to be that the two lovers once experienced times of great loss and sorrow which resembled those of other lovers and which seemed to require images of death and destruction, but -- as Donne goes on to argue — they were deluded i n taking themselves so seriously: there i s a new loss which i s 104 more basic and which requires more r a d i c a l imagery. But i f those images were somewhat f a n c i f u l responses to great emotions, what should be made of images of his present state which are offered with as much seriousness yet appear to have the same degree of i m p l i c i t absurdity? Donne t e l l s us: Were I a man, that I were one, I needs must know; I should preferre, I f I were any beast, Some ends, some means; Tea plants, yea stones detest, And love; A l l , a l l some properties invest; I f I an ordinary nothing were, As shadow,'a l i g h t , and body must be here. Though l o g i c a l l y defensible, the denial of his humanity i s obviously f a l s e ; Donne i s , c h a r a c t e r i s t i c a l l y , arguing for the impossible. The poem shows that while the g r i e f pushing him to such statements may be true, and while the hyperbole reveals something of the nature of his desolation, he indulges i n a certain amount of self-delusion which i s open to a touch of mockery. So too, i n the poem generally, and i n the imaginative acts proposed i n the f i n a l l i n e s , Donne remains aware of the l i m i t s of what he has done and can do. I f the ambition seems excessive, the poem i s not: i t recognises i t s own extravagances while using them. The trend of my argument i s that throughout the poem Donne "plays' with his own g r i e f by overstating i t i n his 105 overt argument, while complementing that assertion by various signs of strength, culminating i n the resolve at the end. Even while desolate, he i s i n some command of his si t u a t i o n , and sees himself as po t e n t i a l l y active: "Of the f i r s t nothing, the E l i x e r grown" sees annihilation i t s e l f as part of a continuing and creative process. We see further signs of Donne's strength when we ask why he addresses himself to other lovers. Like them, he has suffered the 'normal' gr i e f s of love ("Oft a flood . . . " ) , but i n him they see the ultimate p o s s i b i l i t i e s of nothingness. Yet i f he can be studied with p r o f i t , he i s not altogether a 'nothing', and i f he wishes others to learn from him, he i s not as withdrawn as he pretends. The poem's fundamental strength becomes more s t r i k i n g when we consider the effect of i t s rhythms. Joan Bennett's comments are perceptive, but not e n t i r e l y s a t i s f a c t o r y : His elegiac music forces us to dwell on the meaning of the words and the l i n k i n g of thought with t h o u g h t . . . . The monosyllables f a l l l i k e hammerstrokes; then the sound dies away i n the short l i n e The worlds whole sap i s sunke: and increases again i n volume i n the l i n e s that follow with the f u l l tones of 'the generall balme th'hydroptique earth' and the numbing thuds of sound: 'sunke','drunke*, 'shrunke','dead'; lightened with an eff e c t of sardonic bitterness i n the soft rhymes 'laugh:epitaph'; every twist and turn i n the sound pattern i s apreparative f o r the despair expressed i n the central conceit of the poem: 106 I, "by loves limbecke, am the grave Of a l l , that's nothing. Donne deliberately deprived himself of the hypnotic power with which a regularly recurring beat plays upon the nerves.24 The very q u a l i t i e s referred to as preparing for despair seem to me an indicati o n of strength. The rhythms are a l e r t , not iner t , and th i s s i g n i f i e s a passionate a c t i v i t y of the mind, an energetic s t r i v i n g f o r self-knowledge. Prank Kermode's b r i e f comment i s more suggestive: "This i s the most solemn and most d i f f i c u l t of Donne's poems, s u p e r f i c i a l l y slow i n movement, but with a contrapuntal 25 ve l o c i t y of thought." The ve l o c i t y applies to more than the thought. "A KTocturnall upon S.Lucies Day" shares with other Donne poems an a b i l i t y to range swi f t l y over a variety of ideas and images. A more d i s t i n c t i v e quality i s a wave-l i k e accumulation of phrases: the poem seems to slow down, then suddenly i s whipped forward again, as the poet pushes 26 on to consider the implications of what has been said. Joan Bennett, Pive Metaphysical Poets (Cambridge, 1964), P. 42. 25 John Donne. p. 21. 26 The effect i s diminished s l i g h t l y by the tendency of modern editors to emphasise pauses more heavily than does the punctuation of the 1633 edition of Donne's poems. 107 The effect here bears comparison with that of "Aire and Angels" which introduces a series of points, each considered slowly and precisely, t h e i r relationship being stressed by fre quent c onne c t ive s: Twice or thrice had I lov'd thee, Before I knew thy face or name; So i n a voice, so i n a shapelesse flame, Angells af f e c t us oft, and worship'd bee; S t i l l when, to where thou wert, I came, Some lovely glorious nothing I did see. But since my soule, whose ch i l d love i s , Takes limmes of f l e s h , and else could nothing doe, More su b t i l e then the parent i s , Love must not be, but take a body too, And therefore what thou wert, and who, I bid Love aske, and now That i t assume thy body, I allow, And f i x e i t selfe i n thy l i p , eye, and brow. The l o g i c a l tightness of this passage contrasts with the looser, more ambiguous syntax of "A Wocturnall upon S.Lucies Day", which i s sparer i n i t s connectives and more puzzling i n t h e i r usage: "Study me then", "For I am every dead thing", "since, t h i s /Both the yeares, and the dayes deep midnight i s . " The two poems share a certain excitement, that of the mind continually making new discoveries, a mind at play yet about a serious business, impelled by some present si t u a t i o n . The occasion of "A Nocturnall upon S.Lucies Day" i s more intense, more oppressive, more disruptive of ordered notions of things. The cooler l o g i c a l r e c o l l e c t i o n of the past which we f i n d i n "Aire and Angells" 108 i s out of place here. But the mind i s f a r from anarchic, i t s method of creating order paradoxically f i t t i n g for the subject and the occasion. Consideration of the formal structure of the stanzas confirms the sense of i t s curious forward movement. In the f i r s t £>ur l i n e s of a stanza, no l i n e rhymes with one of i t s own length; then a short l i n e i s followed by two f i v e - s t r e s s l i n e s that rhyme with i t , and two more five- s t r e s s l i n e s that share another rhyme. Generally, the effect of the f i r s t part of a stanza i s to set up a variety of directions, not resolved u n t i l a f t e r the f i f t h l i n e ; the effect of the l a t e r l i n e s i s to consolidate; the more even weight of the l i n e s , t h e i r couplet effect, bring a greater firmness. Each stanza ends with a f u l l stop, but there are only three others i n the poem. Por a l l the discursiveness that contrasts t h i s poem to "Aire and Angells" or "The Exstasie", i t has a strong sense of d i r e c t i o n which reinforces the impression of a detached self-examination mastering desolation. Other Donne poems discussed above contemplate the union of lovers. Recurrent themes are the mutual power given by love, the p o s s i b i l i t y of preserving love i n a world of change and death, the ways i n which attention to a beloved governs attention to other people and things. 109 In "A Nocturnall upon S.Lucies Day" Donne speaks from a new sit u a t i o n which, a l t e r s his perspectives on such themes. The beloved i s l o s t , apparently dead. Yet the word "death" wrongs her, not only because he can "prepare towards her", but because she s t i l l influences him so profoundly. Love has "wrought new Alchimie" i n him, "to expresse / A quintessence even from nothingnesse", but i t i s also love which i s shown to impel him towards reunion with her. The poem thus offers a r a d i c a l l y d i f f e r e n t view of love from that which leaves a bereaved lover gazing upon his mind's image of the unattainable mistress. Donne's techniques are a suitable response to such mysteries. Por matters that cannot be comprehended by normal means of human knowledge and discourse, more adventurous language i s needed. The development of the image of love as alchemist who makes him the e l i x e r of "the f i r s t nothing" enables him to comprehend at least p a r t i a l l y an indefinable mystery. As elsewhere, Donne himself, an i n t e l l i g e n t , enquiring and passionate man, i s chief subject of the analysis. but he i s also shown coming to triumph over the threat of despair. He does t h i s by powers of the mind that enable him to c l a r i f y his own position and by related powers of the s p i r i t which enable him to 'play' with his own g r i e f , 110 to belie the claims that he i s "None". The manner i n which he speaks of himself i s as important as what he 'says'. Such comments would apply to some extent to many of Donne's poems, but i n few do we f i n d so subtle an interplay of seemingly incompatible attitudes which reveal both the depths of gr i e f and the power of the human s p i r i t to free i t s e l f from the f l e s h l y condition of nature's cycles and mortality which are both cause of g r i e f and the inevitable condition on which assertions of the human s p i r i t must be founded. "A Nocturnall upon S.Lucies Day" i s among the most impressive of a group of poems i n which Donne's wit, h i s a b i l i t y to play with ideas and images, combines with a probing i n t e l l i g e n c e to consider situations which are passionately f e l t as Donne's own, yet share much with those of other men. Later, when examining The Second Anniversary. I w i l l show Donne using a d i f f e r e n t mode from the b r i e f love l y r i c , yet with comparable wit enlightening a contemplation of a s t r i v i n g for l i f e which i s both his own and shared by a l l men. I l l CHAPTER IV WITHDRAWAL AND COMMITMENT IN MARVELL I Although "An Horatian Ode upon Cromwel's Return from Ireland" i s concerned with public and contemporary events, i t s themes and methods bring i t closer to poems considered i n this work than to Marvell's other p o l i t i c a l poems. George de P. Lord comments on i t s r e l a t i o n to "The Garden": The Garden, f o r example, illuminates the Horatian Ode and vice versa.- To some extent the two poems are c o r o l l a r i e s , one withdrawing from a l i f e of f r u i t l e s s ambition into a l i f e of contemplative f u l f i l l m e n t , the other abandoning the austere and secluded garden f o r the arena of p o l i t i c a l and m i l i t a r y a c t i v i t y . Prom the perspective of the garden, ambitious and successful men seem misguided and f o o l i s h ; from the perspective of Cromwell's strenuous achievements, the "muses dear" and "numbers languishing" of the r e t i r e d l i f e seem equally unseasonable and absurd.1 Although Lord's comments are misleading even as summary accounts of the poems, they do point to some of t h e i r pre-occupations. The enthusiasm f o r garden-withdrawal which i s present, though q u a l i f i e d , i n "The Garden" i s a reaction to "uncessant Labours", while the "Horatian Ode" i s about one who marches "indefatigably "Prom Contemplation to Action: Marvell's Poetical Career," PQ, XLVI (1967), 211. 112 on". Time spent i n the garden i s mentioned only b r i e f l y i n the "Horatian Ode", one of a series of references to what must be abandoned i n response to the demands of the times, and as the image that contrasts Oliver Cromwell's past with his present: And, i f we would speak true, Much to the Man i s due. Who, from his private Gardens, where He l i v ' d reserved and austere, As i f his highest plot To plant the Bergamot, Could by industrious Valour climbe To ruine the great Work of Time, And cast the Kingdome old Into another Mold. (27-36) Both of these poems, along with Upon Appleton House, examine the recurrent Marvell theme that a l l choices have t h e i r p r i c e : whether one decides to withdraw or to act, one loses something important. In examining that theme i n the "Horatian Ode", Marvell considers the price of creating a new p o l i t i c a l order, apparently sanctioned by Providence, yet i n many ways abhorrent. Much of the c r i t i c a l discussion of t h i s poem t r i e s to assess how f a r i t i s concerned to support or to condemn Cromwell. The most important contributions include: Cleanth Brooks, "Cr i t i c i s m and L i t e r a r y History: Marvell's Horatian Ode," SR. LV (1947), 199-222, and "A Note on the Limits of 'History' and the Limits of 'Criticism'," SR, LXI (1953), 129-135; Douglas Bush, "Marvell's Horatian Ode," SR, LX (1952), 363-376; John Wallace, Destiny his Choice: The Loyalism of Andrew Marvell (Cambridge, 1968), ch.2. Other items are mentioned i n my Bibliography. 113 The question i s important, but a l i m i t i n g one i f put simply i n that way. It i s an Ode upon Cromwell's return, i t s concern not merely the man, but a s i t u a t i o n i n which Cromwell i s a central figure. The poem begins with a reference to the times rather than to Cromwell personally: The forward Youth that would appear Must now forsake his Muses dear, Nor i n the Shadows sing His Numbers languishing. 'Tis time to leave the Books i n dust, And o y l th'unused Armours rust: Removing from the Wall The Corslet of the H a l l . (1-8) The times demand that the s i m p l i c i t i e s of battle take precedence over the complexities of study. The 'forward youth' must choose to s t r i k e blows fo r one of two opposed forces. Marvell, as Poet, faces such a choice: as a student of the Muses and of books, Marvell i s i n a position to see the complexities of a case; yet t h i s withdrawn study, he suggests, i s 'now' related to t r i v i a , to merely private concerns symbolised by the singing of "numbers languishing". Yet public commitment means adherence to actions that one's studies must question, to violence and to destruction. Por a l l the difference between Marvell the poet and Cromwell the p o l i t i c i a n who seizes the opportunity f o r decisive action, 114 t h e i r situations are related: the times confront both with moral problems. Cromwell, the poem t e l l s us, i s destructive of himself and of other things, even of what appears most sacred, yet he has divine approval: he rends "Pallaces and Temples", yet appears himself as "angry Heavens flame". Given that ambiguity, how i s one to make a moral judgment on acts of p o l i t i c a l expediency? Is moral anarchy the price of public order, p o l i t i c a l disorder the price of adherence to blameless personal behaviour? The poem has a related problem. Hovr does he preserve his i n t e g r i t y as a poet, remaining f a i t h f u l to the whole truth, without remaining impotent i n times that demand public commitment? Much of the poignancy of the "Horatian Ode" comes from Marvell's sense of t h i s problem as his own. Its success offers a b r i e f resolution of the paradox, although the subsequent career of Marvell as ' p o l i t i c a l ' poet shows that he had to pay the poetic price f o r p o l i t i c a l commit-ment. The success here depends on the poem's being a good 3 deal more than a panegyric, even a q u a l i f i e d one. "Thou seest me s t r i v e f o r l i f e " , says Donne at a c r u c i a l point i n The Second Anniversary. where we are presented with a Even John M. Wallace's well-argued case f a i l s to convince me that the poem i s substantially pro-Cromwell: i t s emotional energies are too complex, too diverse. (See Destiny his Choice, ch.2) 115 man i n the act of coming to terms with major issues about his l i f e . The "Horatian Ode" i s a less dramatic poem; i t s mode implies the presentation of the results of considered thought. As my e a r l i e r chapters have suggested, Marvell tends to be less 'present' i n his writing, his defensive, i r o n i c mannerisms more of a mask than are Donne's evasions about where he 'really' stands on a question. Even i n the "Horatian Ode", Marvell's manner has more i n common with a devotional poem than with a 'meditative' one. Por a l l i t s ambivalences, the style of the "Horatian Ode" i s persuasive and celebratory. Though obviously f a r more secular a poem than, say, Crashaw's Hymns, i t i s , l i k e them, a poem where the poet i s especially concerned to give and encourage the f i t response to a person and what he or she represents. Crashaw's poetry i s frequently witty and excessive, as i n these l i n e s from "Hymn to Saint Teresa": How kindly w i l l thy gentle HEART Kisse the sweetly-killing DART I And close i n his embraces deep Those delicious Wounds, that weep Balsom to heal themselues with. Thus When These thy DEATHS, so numerous, Sha l l a l l at l a s t dy into one, And melt thy Soul's sweet mansion; Like a soft lump of incense, hasted By too hott a f i r e , & wasted Into perfuming clouds, so fast Shalt thou exhale to Heaun at l a s t In a resoluing SIGH. (105-117) 116 The extent of the hyperbole i s a measure of the wonder properly due to the Saint, to her extraordinary love and sanctity. Crashaw's playing here i s a sign of his f a i t h and a means of drawing the reader to the proper response. There i s no attempt to hide the excess or the imminent absurdity of the images. Nor do we f i n d — as we often do i n Donne or Marvell — the element of self-mockery which recognises such absurdity; rather there i s an assumption that we w i l l recognise the conventions of r e l i g i o u s praise, that i n sharing the f a i t h we w i l l share the response. Writing of Cromwell, Marvell too becomes excessive: And, l i k e the three-fork'd Lightning, f i r s t Breaking the Clouds where i t was nurst, Did thorough his own Side His f i e r y way divide. Then burning through the A i r he went, And Pallaces and Temples rent: And Caesars head at l a s t Did through his Laurels blast. (13-16, 21-24) Hyperbolic poetry has t r a d i t i o n a l l y been used to praise great men i n public l i f e , as well as God and the saints, so the extent of Marvell 1s exaggerations does not surprise. The excess encourages a sense of awe proper to Cromwell's a c t i v i t i e s . Crashaw's language demands a judgment i n favour of his heroine: the paradoxes of her l i f e , such as her kissing 117 "the swe e t l y - k i l l i n g DART", are not moral dilemmas, but indicate that she can transform a l l to good i n her service of God. The d e t a i l s of Marvell's language suggest that the deeds of Cromwell demand not only awe, but a complex moral judgment, the d i f f i c u l t i e s of which are shared by poet and reader. Whereas Crashaw's poetry demands a suspension of d i s b e l i e f , a reje c t i o n of any q u a l i f i c a t i o n s we might f e e l about the subject or the images used, Marvell's manner inv i t e s such q u a l i f i c a t i o n s . The fact that Cromwell i s a destroyer of temples as well as of palaces might well lead men to r e s i s t or to blame him. Yet this i s seen as madness, for he seems to work with divine approval i n the destruction of the very things men regard as sacred. The poem repeatedly considers such paradoxes. Thus, the image of lightning bursting through i t s own side invites a range of judgments. To comprehend the reference to Cromwell as lightning, we need to keep i n mind at least three notions or images: lig h t n i n g bursting from the clouds, the p o l i t i c a l ascendency of Cromwell over other members of his party, and the soul bursting from the body. This l a s t notion, that Cromwell has broken free of bodily l i m i t s and become something l i k e pure s p i r i t i s continued i n the following l i n e s ("Then burning through the A i r . . . ") and picked up again i n : Nature that hateth emptiness, Allows of penetration l e s s : And therefore must make room Where greater S p i r i t s come. (41-44) 118 One result of the fusion of images i n the 'Lightning* passage i s to d i v e r s i f y our responses, to help us become aware of several ways of seeing and judging an a c t i v i t y . We become aware of Cromwell's doing several things at once: a p o l i t i c a l triumph i s seen as being a triumph of a restless s p i r i t , an a c t i v i t y associated with mysterious a c t i v i t i e s elsewhere i n the universe. The image of dividing a way through one's own side implies a god-like quality, but such a c t i v i t y i s also self-destructive. (So too are some of the assertions of ' s p i r i t ' i n the other Marvell poems I have considered above.) As a divine f i r e , Cromwell has become an almost impersonal and inhuman force. After the passage describing Cromwell as f i e r y agent, the tone a l t e r s i n a s l i g h t l y apologetic way when attention i s turned to the man: And, i f we would speak true, Much to the Man i s due. (27-28) The speaker i s awed by the subject, by the p a r t i a l l y supernatural yet inhuman force of violent destruction. The praise due to divine power and to the man i s played against a natural t e r r o r i n the face of such power. Such a dual sense persists i n the poem. Marvell never denies that praise and admiration are warranted: the poem goes on to support the claim that "Much 119 to the Man i s due" as well as to defend the proposition that Cromwell's progress seems to be supported by God. Yet Cromwell i s not God, but a man. The witty manner of the poem, as well as i n f l a t i n g Cromwell and finding f i t images fo r h i s greatness, insists too on his l i m i t a t i o n s . The measure of Cromwell, though the poem suggests that he defies a l l normal methods of assessing people, i s a humane one which w i t t i l y sees his achievements i n the l i g h t of other human a c t i v i t i e s (such as the death of the King) as well as of the laws of nature and of more abstract p r i n c i p l e s of Right and Justice. The poem as i n thi s passage moves back and fo r t h between general observations about history and s p e c i f i c references to th i s one man: Though Justice against Pate complain, And plead the antient Rights i n vain: But those do hold or break As Men are strong or weak. Nature that hateth emptiness, Allows of penetration l e s s : And therefore must make room Where greater S p i r i t s come. What P i e l d of a l l the C i v i l Wars, Where his were not the deepest Scars? And Hampton shows what part He had of wiser Art. (37-48) This back-and-forth movement, with i t s surprisingly abrupt 120 transitions, i s part of the poem's attempt to relate human w i l l and human events to what seem to be the laws of history. Marvell believes, i t seems, i n some inevitable processes, prov i d e n t i a l l y ordained, yet he i s well aware how much these events depend on such arbi t r a r y q u a l i t i e s as the w i l l , courage, art and ambition of single men who decide to take command of events i n risky endeavours: So re s t l e s s Cromwel could not cease In the inglorious Arts of peace, But through adventrous War Urged his active Star. (9-12) Even i n his garden, Cromwell was concerned with 'Plots'; his notable piece of art has been that which culminates i n the death of Charles: And Hampton shows what part He had of wiser Art. Where, twining subtile fears with hope, He wove a Wet of such a scope, That Charles himself might chase To Caresbrooks narrow case. That thence the Royal Actor born The Tragick Scaffold might adorn While round the armed Bands Did clap t h e i r bloody hands. He nothing common did or mean Upon that memorable Scene But with his keener Eye The Axes edge did t r y : Nor c a l l ' d the G-ods with vulgar spight To vindicate his helpless Right But bow'd his comely Head, Down as upon a Bed. (47-64) 121 This passage, showing that the "wiser Art" culminates i n the staging of a highly serious play where "the Royal Actor" meets his death, i s one of the most s t r i k i n g , but puzzling, passages i n the poem, so strongly are we shown the admirable q u a l i t i e s of the King, the n o b i l i t y of his death, compared with the behaviour of the armed bands standing around clapping. The contrast reinforces the theme of the opening l i n e s , that these are indeed hard times, destroying d i g n i f i e d action as well as sweetness and l e i s u r e , not to mention "the great Work of Time" (34) which Cromwell so ruthlessly reshapes. However much the passage on Charles's death suggests Marvell's l i k i n g fo r the King and the values he represented, i t also sees the i n s t a b i l i t y of those values: the King i s a f u t i l e actor on a stage, compared with a man whose a r t i s t i c performances bring him r e a l power. Por a l l the elegiac q u a l i t i e s i n this passage — and elsewhere — Marvell admits that even so sad a death may be a sign of providential favour: This was that memorable Hour Which f i r s t assur'd the forced Pow'r. So when they did design The Capitols f i r s t Line, A bleeding Head where they begun, Did f r i g h t the Architects to run; And yet i n that the State Foresaw i t ' s happy Pate. (65-72) 122 While the poem continues i t s q u a l i f i e d acceptance of the new order, i n the b e l i e f that Providence may well support "the forced Pow'r", i t also becomes increasingly responsive, especially i n i t s rhythms, to the hardness and violence which characterise the new order. I f the poem's i r o n i c manner continues to suggest a degree of detachment or reserve, that reserve i s directed more the the men involved i n making history than to the value judgments they compel, to the demands of p o l i t i c a l commitment rather than to those of moral commitment. Such reserve i n the poem's formal manner i s part of i t s attempt to create a u n i f i e d and ordered response among the various possible judgments. Marvell recognizes that, to avoid moral — or p o l i t i c a l — anarchy, one must decide aB well as discriminate: the tone of the poem throughout i s both decisive and discriminating. The threat of anarchy appears i n the public events that Marvell considers: the violence, energy and cunning by which Cromwell has triumphed are themselves d i f f i c u l t to control and could lead to disorder, even i f i n the form of a dictatorship based on those q u a l i t i e s . In the l a t e r part of the poem, Marvell turns more d i r e c t l y to this question, to ask how and why such a man could be a submissive servant of the public, c o n t r o l l i n g his apparently ceaseless energies. The poem turns to look at the recent event noted i n 123 the poem's t i t l e , Cromwell's victorious return from Ireland. I have not read a sa t i s f a c t o r y account of t h i s passage. While Marvell may have had distorted information about the savagery of the conquest, he i s hardly l i k e l y to be so deceived as a 'straight' reading of t h i s passage suggests:^ They can affirm his Praises best, And have, though overcome, confest How good he i s , how just, And f i t f o r highest Trust: Nor yet grown s t i f f e r with Command, But s t i l l i n the Republick's hand How f i t he i s to sway That can so well obey. (77-84) There i s surely some grim humour here, which i s partly a comment on Cromwell's righteousness. He i s a bloodthirsty man who s a t i s f i e s his hunting i n s t i n c t s yet acts on behalf of the state, so that he has his pleasures yet remains technically blameless. The next l i n e s of the sequence support t h i s suggestion: why should Cromwell pay rent except f o r the p r i v i l e g e of using somebody's estate f o r his own purposes? So he becomes 'good' and 'just' only by i n s i s t i n g on his f i d e l i t y to the commission which i s Various attempts have been made to 'explain' the passage; see Note 2 to t h i s chapter f o r references. 124 both a job and a pleasure, a f i d e l i t y to which the surviving I r i s h can well a t t e s t . The l i n e s which follow emphasise the dilemma of Cromwell i f he i s to remain righteous: He to the Commons Feet presents A Kingdome. fo r his f i r s t years rents: And, what he may, forbears His Fame to make i t t h e i r s : And has his Sword and Spoyls ungirt, To lay them at the Publick's s k i r t . So when the Falcon high F a l l s heavy from the Sky, She, having k i l l ' d , no more does search, But on the next green Bow to pearch; Where, when he f i r s t does lure, The Falckner has her sure. (85-96) As well as continuing the insistence that Cromwell i s being surprisingly restrained, considering h i s capacities, these l i n e s also imply that such submissiveness i s a condition of his continuing success. The huntsman must pay his rent i f he i s to continue to hunt without becoming an outlaw; he must act as servant of the state i f he i s to remain j u s t i f i e d before G-od i n his own eyes or those of other men. The falcon and the falconer have a relationship where each i s dependent on the other. I f the falcon i s "restless Cromwel". i t i s unl i k e l y to "pearch" for long: i t s submissiveness i s uncertain, the very virtues which make i t so useful a bird also make i t a dangerous one i f not well trained and used. In other words, 125 the weight of the metaphors supports the ambiguous implications of "yet" (8l) and " s t i l l " (82): Cromwell and the state, f o r a l l the present harmony, are mutually dependent i n a po t e n t i a l l y unstable relationship. Cromwell, the man who l e f t private l i f e for public action, who abandoned the garden f o r war, i s seen, especially towards the end of the poem, as both master and servant, not only of the State, but of Pate. By agreeing to act v i o l e n t l y , f o r whatever righteous, even necessary, cause, he has partly destroyed his own humanity and has l o s t some of his freedom. He i s at once a monstrous and inhuman force and a man who i s the victim of unchanging laws of the universe, part of a divine game i n which man can be only the loser, bound increasingly by the implications of his own behaviour. The poem moves to a series of predictions of Cromwell's possible m i l i t a r y career, again presented i n ambiguous terms: A Caesar he ere long to Gaul To I t a l y an Hannibal. And to a l l States not free S h a l l Clymacterick be (101-104) Caesar and Hannibal were great warriors, but scarcely l i b e r a t o r s ; and Hannibal, for a l l the fear he caused, f a i l e d to conquer I t a l y . 126 Cromwell i s to range through Scotland as "The English Hunter". Rhetorically, these l i n e s are building into a triumphant climax, but the triumph i s a q u a l i f i e d one. The poem's f i n a l l i n e s look at Cromwell's future i n the context of his past, i n a passage that i s both eulogy and warning: But thou the Wars and Fortunes Son March indefatigably on; And f o r the l a s t effect S t i l l keep thy Sword erect: Beside the force i t has to f r i g h t The S p i r i t s of the shady Night, The same Arts that did gain A Pow'r must i t maintain. (113-120) The rhythms at t h i s point become especially stern; Cromwell's march i s part of an unending procession i n which he must take his place. The frightening l i n e , "March indefatigably on" i s an outstanding example of rhythms reinforcing the statement of how unfree the great conqueror r e a l l y i s . Por a l l his apparent righteousness, Cromwell ends i n a situ a t i o n similar to that of a haunted Macbeth — or even of that more honourable man, Brutus — unable to sleep, v i s i t e d by ghosts, compelled to wade deeper i n blood. Public l i f e , then, may be compelled by an inscrutable Providence, by the demands of the time, by the need for glory. But i t also means a considerable and painful loss, a joyless 127 and driven existence. What, then, are the prospects when a man withdraws to the isolated garden? II In "The Garden", Marvell adopts the manner of one making a somewhat whimsical defence of an extreme proposition. He continually overstates h i s case, and plays with absurd notions, such as the soul's g l i d i n g into the tree. Yet the poem i s f a r more than a d e l i g h t f u l t r i f l e : t h i s fact has led many a commentator into extensive researches, r e l a t i n g 5 the poem to various sources and traditions such as Bonaventura , 6 7 Hermeticism , and the "androgynous Adam" . The poem c l e a r l y draws on a r i c h variety of ideas, yet solemn explications i n terms of those ideas become fals e to the poem by t h e i r i n a b i l i t y to cope with i t s peculiar playfulness. My concern here i s to see how that playfulness works to give "The Garden" i t s s t r i k i n g e f f e c t , and conversely, what makes the play so compelling, so much more than mere whimsy. Ruth Wallerstein, Studies i n Seventeenth Century Poetic (Madison, Wise, 1950), ch . 8 . Maren-Sofie R^stvig, The Happy Man: Studies i n the  Metamorphoses of a C l a s s i c a l Ideal. Vol.1: 1600-1700. 2nd ed. (Oslo, 1962T, ch.4. Lawrence W. Hyman, Andrew Marvell (New York, 1964), ch. 3. 128 In the f i r s t stanza, as i n the three that follow, Marvell pretends that there i s an absolute choice to be made between two extremes, and that he f u l l y supports one of them, i n this case "repose" against "uncessant Labours". But we a l l know that l i f e i s not a matter of such simple choices; to underline the p l a y f u l nature of his case, Marvell bases the f i r s t part of his argument on the f a n c i f u l proposition that flowers and trees a c t i v e l y "weave the Garlands of repose." Overtly, the poem offers a distorted view of things i n presenting the case for contemplative withdrawal against active involvement i n a f f a i r s . At the same time, i t w i t t i l y q u a l i f i e s that case. The power of the f i r s t stanza depends on i t s s t r i k i n g contrast between two kinds of action, the "uncessant Labours" of men and the weaving of the plants: How vainly men themselves amaze To win the Palm, the Oke, or Bayes; And t h e i r uncessant Labours see Crown'd from some single Herb or Tree. Whose short and narrow verged Shade Does prudently t h e i r Toyles upbraid; While a l l Plow'rs and a l l Trees do close To weave the Garlands of repose. A pun on "amaze" heightens the contrast between men and trees: a maze i s confusing and confining compared with the orderly "Garlands of repose". The poem simply asserts that the amaze-ment i s vain and less desirable than submission to the orderly 129 workings of nature: the argument i s that men should submit to the natural world, that i n fact nature i s more powerful than man and can thwart his a c t i v i t i e s , as when Marvell presents himself as stumbling and f a l l i n g i n the very active garden: What wond'rous L i f e i n this I lead! Ripe Apples drop about my head; The Luscious Clusters of the Vine Upon my Mouth do crush t h e i r Wine; The Nectaren, and curious Peach, Into my hands themselves do reach; Stumbling on Melons, as I pass, Insnar'd with Flow'rs, I f a l l on Grass. Here too the precise d e t a i l s of the poetry challenge Marvell's apparent endorsement of nature's pressing abundance. If man allows himself to be seduced by the garden, he may find ease and pleasure, but he w i l l be overwhelmed also, reduced to a sub-rational vegetable state. The stanza thus introduces an important theme of the central section of "The Garden", that what seems to be a c a l l of the S p i r i t f o r a l i f e of contemplative solitude may prove to be a delusion, to be r e a l l y the c a l l of the Plesh f o r man to turn to a subhuman existence. In "A Dialogue between the Soul and Body", we saw the Body's yearning fo r the natural "Forest" growth of a pre-human existence, and the loss t h i s involved. In "The Garden", Marvell looks at s i m i l a r tendencies, but takes the problem much further. 130 The very language i n which Marvell has praised the garden stresses i t s sensual delights: Society i s a l l but rude, To t h i s delicious Solitude. Indeed, the garden competes successfully with the attractions of human beauty: No white nor red was ever seen So am'rous as t h i s lovely green. Pond Lovers, cruel as t h e i r Flame, Cut i n these Trees t h e i r Mistress name. L i t t l e , Alas, they know, or heed, How f a r these Beauties Hers exceed! The main point of the fourth stanza i s that a garden can prove to be the true end of even the most passionate human or divine behaviour: The Gods, that mortal Beauty chase, S t i l l i n a Tree did end th e i r race. The same couplet raises the fa m i l i a r theme of fusion of divine and mortal, anticipating the l a t e r parts of the poem which consider the implications of man's 'amphibious' nature. The method of these stanzas i s , i n one respect, one considered above: Marvell tends to argue that the garden, place of repose, contemplation and solitude, the closest approach to Eden, i s the place where man's s p i r i t w i l l be 131 most wholly a l i v e , the creative mind and the aspiring soul having a free range. At the same time, Marvell acknowledges the traps of such b e l i e f s , p artly by representing himself as f a l l i n g into them i n a somewhat absurd way, as when he f a l l s on the grass. The p l a y f u l manner allows the appearance of a range of ideas and images. The tone, l i g h t but taut, helps assess the various p o s s i b i l i t i e s , and suggests the degree of Marvell's commitment to them. In the c r u c i a l sixth and seventh stanzas, Marvell plays with the images of dissociated minds and souls. As usual, he admits only approval of the supposed behaviour of mind and soul. The force of the poetry, however, i s to establish a more complex judgment. In the s i x t h stanza, Marvell begins to play the game of pretended dissoci a t i o n of the s e l f that has appeared e a r l i e r i n such poets as Shakespeare (Sonnet 146; "Poor soule, the center of my s i n f u l l earth"), Donne (passim, including The  Second Anniversary; "Up, up, my drowsie soule" (339)), and George Herbert ("Church-monuments": "While that my soul repairs to her devotion"): Mean while the Mind, from pleasure l e s s , Withdraws into i t s happiness: The Mind, that Ocean where each kind Does streight i t s own resemblance find; Yet i t creates, transcending these, Par other Worlds, and other Seas; Annihilating a l l that's made To a green Thought i n a green Shade. 132 William Empson's f i n e , i f obscure, discussion of the poem, comments on the ambiguities here, including those of "from Q pleasure l e s s " ; J.B. leishman i s less generous to Marvell: "Marvell's clumsy inversion, here as often elsewhere, has 9 produced an unintended ambiguity" . Intended or not, the ambiguity of the stanza's f i r s t couplet i s a suggestive one: "pleasure l e s s " i s contrasted to " i t s happiness". I f the emphasis f a l l s on " i t s " , the comparison stressed i s between Marvell's succumbing to the physical pleasures of the garden and the mind's succumbing to another kind of pleasure; i f the emphasis f a l l s on "happiness", then Marvell i s contrasting "pleasure" with "happiness" as being a di f f e r e n t — and i n f e r i o r — thing. However we take the contrast, the mind i s shown as with-drawing even further than the withdrawal Marvell has already made from "busy Companies of Men" into the garden, and to be seeking something enjoyable, which we are invited to see as some kind of contemplation. Contemplation i s t r a d i t i o n a l l y regarded as the highest form of human a c t i v i t y , because i t brings man closest to God, even allowing some share i n his creative powers, an idea that underlies the l a s t four l i n e s of the stanza. Marvell's poem, however, q u a l i f i e s i t s approval of such contemplation. Some Versions of Pastoral (London, 1935 )>• ch.IV. 9The Art of Marvell's Poetry. 2nd ed. (London, 1968), p. 312. 133 The pun on "streight" suggests the l i m i t s of one sort of human a c t i v i t y , the merely r e f l e c t i v e . I f the word implies immediacy, i t also implies a simple unchanging r e f l e c t i o n and a narrowness, a l l things being i n effect frozen i n the mind's oceanic r e f l e c t i o n of them. The alternative to t h i s uncreative and l i m i t i n g r e f l e c t i o n i s said to be, paradoxically, a creative annihilation: Yet i t creates, transcending these, Far other Worlds, and other Seas; Annihilating a l l that's made To a green Thought i n a green Shade. The mind, i t seems, i s praised f o r creating things transcendently green. But there i s also a s i g n i f i c a n t stress on "Far" followed by the repeated word, "other"; annihilation i s a curiously destructive form of creation, and the product, "a green Thought i n a green Shade" i s a rather monotonous and i n -substantial substitute f o r the splendid variety of the created world — including the more variously coloured and f a r more substantial f r u i t of the preceding stanza. Whether the mind works as oceanic mirror or as a n n i h i l a t i n g creator, i t s products are d i f f e r e n t from — and i n s i g n i f i c a n t ways i n f e r i o r to — the things of the created world. The withdrawn mind has i t s shortcomings, and i t s happiness can be self-indulgent and destructive. The pleasure — which i s Marvell*s own, the dissoci a t i o n of mind being only a pretence — i s s t i l l exciting 134 and r e a l , a delight which the poem, for a l l i t s q u a l i f i c a t i o n s , affirms enthusiastically. The dissociation conceit i s taken even further i n the seventh stanza's account of the soul: Here at the Fountains s l i d i n g foot, Or at some Fruit-trees mossy root, Casting the Bodies Vest aside, My Soul into the boughs does glide: There l i k e a Bird i t s i t s , and sings, Then whets, and combs i t s s i l v e r Wings; And, t i l l prepar'd f o r longer f l i g h t , Waves i n i t s Plumes the various Light. Marvell uses the notion that the soul, imprisoned i n the body, w i l l break out whenever i t has the chance, drawing closer to the divine. He thus continues his defence of garden-withdrawal on the grounds that i t encourages this desirable movement of the soul. Yet there i s a strong element of parody i n the picture of soul as bird, s i t t i n g preening i t s e l f i n the branches of a tree. The parody i s not en t i r e l y destructive: one may well experience an exciting elevation of the s p i r i t while meditating i n a garden, and the poem responds warmly to that experience. But the stanza also implies that the images of separation are i n t r i n s i c a l l y absurd, that the behaviour of th i s soul i n splendid i s o l a t i o n from body, mind, and a l l else i s self-regarding and perhaps as vain as the pretensions of 135 men who "themselves amaze / To win the Palm, the Oke, or Bayes." Detailed meanings i n t h i s stanza are notoriously d i f f i c u l t to agree about, and much commentary has focussed on i t . To take one case that i s relevant to my present discussion, what i s the precise meaning of " t i l l prepar'd for longer f l i g h t " ? Prank Kermode's gloss reads: "resting, as i t were, between the created and i n t e l l i g i b l e worlds i n the process of i t s Platonic ascent""'"^ Marvell plays too, I think, with, the idea, used i n Donne's Second Anniversary. that the soul w i l l f l y up to heaven only a f t e r death: the converse i s that the trees are the l i m i t as long as man remains a l i v e and thus partly mortal. Further, i n terms of the image as Marvell presents i t , the soul can stay i n the tree only while Marvell i s i n the garden, Here at the Fountains s l i d i n g foot, Or at some Fruit-trees mossy root. The context then tends to make " t i l l " an anticipation of a departure from the garden, with the implication that the necessary preparation for "longer f l i g h t " must take place i n a more active and public environment than the one provided by the garden. Andrew Marvell: Selected Poetry. (New York, 1967), p. 108. 136 The stanza, l i k e the poem, presents many such d i f f i c u l t i e s and we could argue endlessly about various interpretations of d e t a i l . That very fact i s something a reader must assess, regardless of hi s own preference among interpretations. The c r i t i c must balance between ponderous explication that denies the evasive playfulness of the verse and a simple-minded under-estimation of the subtlety that i s there, of the learning that l i e s behind the poem. However we gloss i t , the poetry merges gracefully a number of p o s s i b i l i t i e s . One purpose of Marvell 1s play i n "The Garden" becomes clearer as we move further into the poem: Marvell w i l l gladly praise the pleasures and virtues of garden-withdrawal, but he sees i t s dangers and challenges the proposition that men should remain i n the garden. Whatever the hazards of "busie Companies of Men", whatever limitations "the Bodies Vest" may impose on the soul, man i s a s o c i a l being and a mortal one. I f his s p i r i t i s to l i v e well, he must face these facts: garden-withdrawals, good and valuable though they be, must be kept i n perspective. The poem's l a s t two stanzas return to the themes of the f i r s t two, seeing them from new perspectives. The second stanza offered a simple contrast: F a i r quiet, have I found thee here, And Innocence thy S i s t e r dear! Mistaken long, I sought you then In busie Companies of Men. 137 Your sacred Plants, i f here below, Only among the Plants w i l l grow. Society i s a l l but rude, To t h i s delicious Solitude. The eighth returns to themes of solitude and company: Such was that happy Garden-state, While Man there walk 1d without a Mate: After a Place so pure, and sweet, What other Help could yet be meet I But 'twas beyond a Mortal *s share To wander s o l i t a r y there: Two Paradises 'twere i n one To l i v e i n Paradise alone. The close verbal echo of Genesis provides an important clue to Marvell's position. The l o g i c a l extension of the case Marvell seems to be arguing — for the superiority of solitude — brings a direct challenge to God's view of what i s best for man, even before the P a l l . However Marvell may f e e l about the fact, i t i s not man's l o t to wander s o l i t a r y i n Eden; r e a l i s t i c a l l y , he recognises that the given mortal condition, ordained by God -- even i f His wisdom baffles ours -- i s the true test for any theories of the good l i f e . Marvell again uses grammatical ambiguities which depend on where the stress f a l l s . In the l i n e , "To wander s o l i t a r y there", we tend to stress " s o l i t a r y " since the main l i n e of "And the l o r d God said, It i s not good that the man should be alone; I w i l l make him an help meet for him." (Gen.ii,18). 138 thought i s that man was given company even i n Eden. But the word "there", i f given even equal stress, i s a reminder that man may s t i l l "wander s o l i t a r y " elsewhere. The following couplet ends with a similar ambiguity: the main l i n e of argument suggests that "alone" i s making a point about solitude i n Paradise, but i f "alone" governs "Paradise" — meaning "only" rather than "by himself" — Marvell seems to suggest that even i f Paradise were accessible, as i t i s by analogy i n the garden, man must also l i v e i n other places. Por better or f o r worse, the garden i s only one part of the world men l i v e i n . The f i n a l stanza has almost the a i r of a casual post-s c r i p t to an argument which even e a r l i e r has tended to be presented as a series of semi-epigrammatic observations. But i t i s important as a resolution for many of the poem's tensions, the very casualness perhaps emphasising t h i s . Marvell turns from various conjectures to look r e l a t i v e l y d i r e c t l y at what i s before him i n the garden: How well the s k i l f u l Gardner drew Of flow'rs and herbes this D i a l new; Where from above the milder Sun Does through a fragrant Zodiack run; And, as i t works, th'industrious Bee Computes i t s time as well as we. How could such sweet and wholsome Hours Be reckon'd but with herbs and flow'rsI 139 Although the stanza may hint at the idea of G-od as "Gardner" of the world's "Dial" — with perhaps a glance at Donne's much-favoured pun on Christ as "Sun" — i t seems primarily a comment on an actual garden and a human gardener. In any case, the reference to "the s k i l f u l Gardner" offers an image of human labour which can complement that of "herbs and flow'rs" rather than be contrasted to i t as were the human labours rejected i n the f i r s t stanza. Unlike those men who "themselves amaze", this gardener has made an arrangement orderly and mean i n g f u l and i n harmony with natural processes. The labour of the gardener i s related to the sun, that recurrent sign i n Donne and Marvell of man's mortality, but also the source of his l i g h t and l i f e . The d i a l of the garden i s an indicat i o n that the mortal l o t can be made more "fragrant", that the inevitable sun may be "milder"* To recognize that man's l o t can be sweetened i s a modest but more appropriate suggestion of the garden's importance than e a r l i e r extravagant praises. The contemplating Marvell can now speak of "we", returning i m p l i c i t l y to company of other men. Reference to the work of "th'industrious Bee" confirms a new attitude to industry, and leads into the f i n a l couplet: i t i s through man's labour and free choice that "herbs and flow'rs" can become a measure of his time. 140 The sense of resolution that marks th i s f i n a l stanza i s confirmed i f we look at q u a l i t i e s other than i t s thematic significance. Marvell i s now less i n c l i n e d to act a part than he was e a r l i e r , and the tone a l t e r s f o r a quieter, less argumentative and less ambiguous praise of the garden. The word-play i n t h i s stanza, as i n the likening of the Bee's computing to that of men, tends to resolve tensions rather than to create them. The quiet wit of the stanza concludes with what i s f i r s t of a l l a compliment to the excellence of a p a r t i c u l a r garden. Por a l l ' i t s dangers, the garden i s a d e l i g h t f u l and a good place. I f I have stressed Marvell's awareness of i t s shortcomings, l e t us remember how well he asserts i t s virtues. The poem i s both praise and warning, an affirmation of the delights of garden solitude and ease, and a recognition that the true nature of man does not f i t the absolutes to which a garden-lover may be tempted. In the garden and i n the poem, a man may play at being pure s p i r i t or pure vegetable. The play i s r e l a t i v e l y harmless when one i s l i k e l y to f a l l only on grass, although the background of the " A l l f l e s h i s grass" proverb hints at more dangerous f a l l s , especially when the poem goes on to consider the Paradise l o s t through the Great P a l l . 141 The poem also suggests a way of p a r t i a l l y recovering from that F a l l : even within i t s own structure, the a c t i v i t i e s of mind and soul follow the f a l l of the sensual man. Like the parodied soul, Marvell 1s own poem "waves i n i t s Plumes the various Light", p l a y f u l l y contemplating a vari e t y of views and insights i n an attempt to restore something of the clear l i g h t l o s t with the F a l l . Considering that Plumes can also become pens and that the soul " s i t s , and sings", Marvell may well be, among other things, commenting on the value of poetry: such comment would be appropriate to "The Garden" i t s e l f . Always i n t e l l i g e n t l y self-conscious and aware of his l i m i t s , Marvell has p l a y f u l l y and pleasantly responded to the garden and to the variety of t r a d i t i o n a l discussions around gardens to shed l i g h t on the recurrent problem of how man may l i v e best i n his confused and 'amphibious' sit u a t i o n . 142 III Upon Appleton House i s a most discursive poem, ranging over many subjects and adopting a variety of voices. Marvell adopts the manner of a t o u r i s t guide early i n the poem and at the end, but for a long time casually ignores the pretence that he i s leading a p a r t i c u l a r group around the grounds on a p a r t i c u l a r day. The poem i s held together not only by t h i s e r r a t i c guided tour, but by recurrent themes. Once again, the question of choosing between withdrawal and public commitment i s considered from various viewpoints. The poem considers the question of perspective, the theme that how a man sees things depends on where he i s standing. This i s related to questions of appearance and r e a l i t y : words l i k e "seem", "appear", and "as i f " recur. As an extension of t h i s theme, the poem considers sport and play, and the very a c t i v i t y of writing poetry. Many writers on Marvell have given accounts 12 of the poem i n some or other of these terms. My own account The most important commentaries include: Harry Berger J r . , "Marvell's 'Appleton House': an Interpretation," Southern Review (Adelaide), 1,4 (1965), 7-32; Rosalie L. Colie, "My Ecchoing Song": Andrew Marvell's Poetry of C r i t i c i s m (Princeton, N.J.,1970),Part IV; M.J.K. O'Loughlin, "This Sober Prame: A Reading of "Upon Appleton House"," i n George deP. Lord (ed.), Andrew Marvell: A Col l e c t i o n of C r i t i c a l Essays (Englewood C l i f f s , N.J., 1968); Joseph H. Summers, Introduction to his Marvell (New York, 196l). Other items are mentioned i n the Bibliography and i n subsequent notes * 143 i s more selective than many of these, and emphasises some important features which relate t h i s poem to those considered above and to the terms i n which I discuss them. John Wallace notes of the poem: One of the most curious features of Upon Appleton House i s that Marvell has carried the 'as i f process much further, so that the objects of his v i s i o n enjoy an uncertain status i n the r e a l world . . . . The explanation of t h i s slipperiness i s that Marvell i s looking not at things but at images, which are themselves re f l e c t i o n s either of an outside r e a l i t y or of the q u a l i t i e s of t h e i r owner, Lord Pairfax.l3 In his 'explanation', Wallace seems, l i k e many c r i t i c s before him, diverted from the poetry by preconceptions about Marvell's 'Platonism'. The poem does not substantiate t h i s kind of d i s t i n c t i o n between "appearance" and " r e a l i t y " . Its language suggests not simply that we can know ' r e a l i t y ' only through i t s 'appearances', but that r e a l i t y exists only i n appearances, of which contradictory accounts may be given with comparable v a l i d i t y . When Marvell makes an e x p l i c i t contrast between the two, his account of what ' i s ' becomes even more extravagant than his Destiny His Choice. p. 233. 144 account of what 'seemed': Then, to conclude these pleasant Acts, Denton sets ope i t s Cataracts; And makes the Meadow tr u l y be (What i t but seem'd before) a Sea. Por, jealous of i t s Lords long stay, It try's t ' i n v i t e him thus away. The River i n i t s e l f i s drown'd, And I s l ' s th'astonish'd Cattle round. (LIX) The contrast i s made with the e a r l i e r l i n e s : When af t e r this ' t i s p i l ' d i n Cocks, Like a calm Sea i t shews the Rocks: We wondring i n the River near How Boats among them safely steer. (LV") In the e a r l i e r passage, "we" are said to be deluded by appearances which we know to be i l l u s o r y ; i n the l a t e r , Marvell represents himself as being r e a l l y deceived, as indulgently accepting fantastic accounts. The previous stanza has raised i n a p l a y f u l way the question of the variety and the r e l i a b i l i t y of perceptions: They seem within the polisht Grass A Landskip drawen i n Looking—Glass. And shrunk i n the huge Pasture show As Spots, so shap'd, on Paces do. Such Pleas, ere they approach the Eye, In Multiplying Glasses l y e . They feed so wide, so slowly move, As Constellations do above. (LVIIl) Each couplet gives a dif f e r e n t likeness f o r the c a t t l e i n the meadow, depending on how they are perceived, and on how that 145 perception compares with perceptions of other things. By seeing them from one point of view, Marvell recognizes a pattern i n the i r movement similar to that of the stars, one that would not be obvious i n a closer inspection of either. The f i r s t couplet made quite a different observation about our perception of the cat t l e i n r e l a t i o n to our perceptions of paintings and mirrors. Marvell offers his range of p o s s i b i l i t i e s i n l i g h t of the obvious fact that they are 'only' c a t t l e feeding. He i s doing more than showing his s k i l l , he i s confirming a point which i s made often i n the poem, i n s i m i l a r l y p l a y f u l i^ays: to say that these are 'only c a t t l e ' i s not a true enough statement. They are more than that, and what they are depends on the person perceiving them, and on the way i n which he perceives them. The poem offers the proposition that truth i s r e l a t i v e to men's perceptions, and accordingly examines the r e l i a b i l i t y of men as perceivers. Marvell's stay i n the woods allows him to make some assessment of his own r e l i a b i l i t y as observer and commentator. The following stanza appears during a sequence where a c h a r a c t e r i s t i c a l l y precise observation of natural things mingles with a sententiousness which, f o r t h i s poem especially, i s equally c h a r a c t e r i s t i c : 146 Thus I, easie Philosopher, Among the Birds and Trees confer: And l i t t l e now to make me, wants Or of the Powles, or of the Plants. Give me but Wings as they, and I Streight f l o t i n g on the A i r s h a l l f l y : Or turn me but, and you s h a l l see I was but an inverted Tree. (LXXl) Those two characteristics converge i n the word "easie". In the preceding stanzas, Marvell has observed the work of the "Hewel" and the trees chosen fo r destruction, an a c t i v i t y which demands r u r a l withdrawal, the ease which precedes contemplation — and wonder, as T.S. E l i o t remarks i n L i t t l e Gidding: I said: "The wonder that I f e e l i s easy, Yet ease i s cause of wonder . . . ." At the same time, Marvell recognizes that h i s "philosophy" i s an "easie" one, r e l a t i v e l y s u p e r f i c i a l i n i t s moralizing commentary: Nor would i t , had the Tree not fed A Traitor-worm, within i t bred. (As f i r s t our Flesh corrupt within Tempts impotent and bashful Sin. And yet that Worm triumphs not long, But serves to feed the Hewels young. While the Oake seems to f a l l content, Viewing the Treason's Punishment. (iXX) The stanza i s subtle, witty, and clever i n i t s ready judgments and i n i t s use of the natural order as parable for the p o l i t i c a l order and f o r the s p i r i t u a l battles within men. But i t s power 147 l i e s less i n the moralizing which seems to be i t s point than i n the swift evocation of processes of corruption and ret r i b u t i o n that take place i n many areas. Marvell recognizes that his strength i s more that of the Fool than that of the Philosopher. He recognizes too that the withdrawal preceding his 'easy philosophy' i s po t e n t i a l l y disabling. The issues are ones discussed above with respect to "The Garden": reduction to a vegetative state i s seductive but dehumanising. This poem expands the theme i n i t s own terms. Consider the force of the two "buts" i n t h i s couplet: Or turn me but, and you s h a l l see I was but an inverted Tree. (LXXl) In t h i s stanza he has over-emphasised his closeness to birds and trees, both declaring and l i g h t l y mocking his own tendency to withdraw from p r a c t i c a l r e s p o n s i b i l i t i e s . He has almost floated. As an "inverted Tree" his roots would be i n heaven or stretching towards i t ; but his home i s on earth and he knows i t . As i n "The Garden", a natural but spurious attempt at being pure s p i r i t w i l l e a s i l y reduce a man to a less than human state. Such withdrawal has advantages as well as dangers; some of the advantages are suggested i n "later stanzas, such as thi s one: 148 Out of these scatter'd Sibyls Leaves Strange Prophecies my Phancy weaves: And i n one History consumes, Like Mexique Paintings. a l l the Plumes. What Rome, Greece. Palestine. ere said I i n t h i s l i g h t Mosaick read. Thrice happy he who, not mistook, Hath read i n Natures mystick Book. (LXXIIl) Marvell shares the wisdom of the ages through an a c t i v i t y of his "Phancy". The complex pun on " l i g h t Mosaick" i s a suggestive commentary on the a c t i v i t i e s taking place. "Light" i s necessary o i f he i s to read; but he i s also reading something l i g h t — as against heavy or solemn — yet worthy of the reverence given to the 'Mosaic' books of the Bible. The mosaic before him i s a c o l l e c t i o n of di f f e r e n t colours and items, brought together by chance, but woven by fancy. In t h i s respect, the mosaic before Marvell resembles the poem i t s e l f . Marvell claims that he performs remarkable feats, but he i s eager to mock what he has done, to i n s i s t that i t i s 'only play'. During the interlude i n the woods, he continues to stress his own i r r e s p o n s i b i l i t y : Then as I careless on the Bed Of gelid Straw-berryes do tread. (LXVIl) He suggests the d e b i l i t a t i n g effect of his behaviour i n the woods: 149 Then, languishing with ease, I toss On P a l l e t s swoln of Velvet Moss; While the Wind, cooling through the Boughs, Platters with A i r my panting Brows. Thanks f o r my rest ye Mossy Banks, And unto you cool Zephyr's Thanks, Who, as my Hair, my Thoughts too shed, And winnow from the Chaff my Head. (LXXV) Marvell goes on to represent himself as 'playing' upon the world as an invulnerable nuisance: How safe, methinks, and strong, behind These Trees have I incamp'd my Mind; Where Beauty, aiming at the Heart, Bends i n some Tree i t s useless Dart; And where the World no certain Shot Can make, or me i t toucheth not. But I on i t securely play, And gaul i t s Horsemen a l l the Day. (LXXVl) The interposed "methinks" i s a hint that the Marvell represented as hiding i n the trees i s somewhat deluded about his own security, that the withdrawal i s an i n v i t a t i o n to dangerous self-indulgence. The natural play of things has been a subject often i n the poem, and a j u s t i f i c a t i o n of sorts f o r Marvell's own play. A punning couplet l i n k s nature's play with Marvell's: And see how Chance's better Wit Could with a Mask my studies h i t I (LXXTV) This "Wit" i s both a game and a means of understanding; the word "Mask" pinpoints the r e l a t i o n of the two. Whether as a 150 face-covering — as i n Greek drama — or as a dramatic performance l i k e Comus. a "Mask" may be an especially apt way of stressing certain truths. The gratuitous play of nature, as of Marvell's "studies", is- defensible as means of knowledge. Again, there i s reference to the function of the poem i t s e l f . The poetry's importance i s analogous to that of Appleton House i t s e l f , where pretences and distortions are meaningful, provided the reader of the meanings can recognize t h e i r l i m i t s , and i s "not mistook". I n i t i a l praise of the sobriety of Appleton House seems to r e f l e c t unfavourably on Marvell's poetic practice: Within this sober Frame expect Work of no Forrain Architect: That unto Caves the Quarries drew, And Forrests did to Pastures hew; Who of his great Design i n pain Did f o r a Model vault his Brain, Whose Columnes should so high be rais'd To arch the Brows that on them gaz'd. (I) But a l l things are composed here Like Nature, orderly and near: In which we the Dimensions fi n d Of that more sober Age and Mind, When larger sized Men did stoop To enter at a narrow loop; As practising, i n doors so s t r a i t , To s t r a i n themselves through Heavens Gate. (iv) Soon after, an ambiguous phrasing brings an implied comment on the worth of Marvell's own methods: 151 So Honour better lowness bears, Then That unwonted Greatness wears. Height with a certain Grace does bend, But low Things clownishly ascend. And yet what needs there here Excuse, Where ev'ry Thing does answer Use? Where neatness nothing can condemn, Nor Pride invent what to contemn? (VIIl) The most obvious meaning of the comment that "low things clownishly ascend" i s that the lowly w i l l make fools of them-selves i f they become too ambitious; but i t i s also the case that by adopting the role of Clown or Pool, a lowly person may ascend to a l e v e l otherwise inaccessible. This i s the case with Marvell — a mere poet and employed tutor compared with the great public figure, Fairfax — whose clownish manner i n the poem i s his means of approaching 'high' truths. One reason f o r Marvell's doing so i s that his extravagant poetry also has the sober q u a l i t i e s associated with the house. The indulgence remains within bounds. The extravagance of the i n i t i a l compliment i s balanced by the measured rhythms, the formal structure, and the refusal of Marvell to go very f a r without some kind of self-rebuke. At one point i n the poem, Marvell e x p l i c i t l y rejects the opportunity to indulge i n paradox and witty extravagance: 152 Let others t e l l the Paradox, How Eels now bellow i n the Ox; How Horses at t h e i r T a i l s do kick, Turn'd as they hang to Leeches quick; How Boats can over Bridges s a i l ; And Pishes do the Stables scale. How Salmons trespassing are found; And Pikes are taken i n the Pound. (LX) Marvell has his fun for one stanza, but t h i s kind of poetry i s for the "others" to " t e l l " . 1 4 Marvell i s selective about the ways i n which he w i l l play because he i s , for a l l his detachment about p a r t i c u l a r events, engaged i n a serious business, a celebration of Fairfax's estate and of the values i t can represent. His study — and practice — of play i s related to his study of withdrawal. I have looked already at Marvell's own withdrawals into and within the woods. The poem's other important withdrawal i s that of Fairfax himself moving out of public l i f e . These two withdrawals r e f l e c t on each other and are seen i n r e l a t i o n to other with-"As the flood r i s e s to force the poet into his wood-sanctuary, he refuses to treat that event passionately, but passes i t off with a shrug — "Let others t e l l " the paradoxes of the deluge." — Colie, "My. E echoing Song." p. 2 6 8 . I am not convinced that i n thi s poem Marvell i s much less passionate about the imagined flood than he i s about many other events; the d i s t i n c t i v e force of "Let others t e l l " i s directed towards ways of writing about the flood rather than to the flood i t s e l f . 153 drawals and p l a y f u l a c t i v i t i e s . Important images for those who play and withdraw come when Marvell turns from the gardens to the meadows: And now to the Abbyss I pass Of that unfathomable Grass, Where Men l i k e Grashoppers appear, But Grashoppers are Gyants there: They, i n there squeking Laugh, contemn Us as we walk more low than them: And, from the Precipices t a l l Of the green s p i r ' s , to us do c a l l . To see Men through th i s Meadow Dive, We wonder how they r i s e a l i v e . As, under Water, none does know Whether he f a l l through i t or go. But as the Marriners that sound, And show upon t h e i r Lead the Ground, They bring up Plow 1rs so to be seen, And prove they've at the Bottom been. (XLVII-XLVIIl) The grasshoppers represent not only poets, but a l l men who, withdrawn from the world of action, gaze contemptuously and 15 laughingly upon i t . In t h e i r elevated position, they can view the relations of things, freed from distractions and from the demands made of those who engage i n action "at the Bottom", On the grasshopper as representative of the poet, see D.C. Allen, Image and Meaning: Metaphoric Traditions i n Renaissance  Poetry, 2nd ed. (Baltimore, 1968), ch. 9, "Richard Lovelace: "The Grasshopper"." 154 those who "walk more low then them". I f grasshoppers have reason to "contemn" those who walk below, the complacency of "there squeking Laugh" renders them also contemptible. Superior watchers though these grasshoppers may be, the sheer extravagance of the language i n this passage reminds us that t h e i r own perspectives may be misleading also. Furthermore, only those who dive into the meadow can expect to emerge with the "Flow'rs". Marvell, by the position he gives himself i n the poem, i s l i a b l e to the same s t r i c t u r e s as the grasshoppers. So too, i n some respects, i s Fairfax, who has withdrawn from public l i f e to the play-world of Appleton House. Marvell i s both t a c t f u l and sympathetic i n suggesting t h i s : And yet t h e i r walks one on the Sod Who, had i t pleased him and God. Might once have made our Gardens spring Fresh as his own and f l o u r i s h i n g . But he preferr'd to the Cinque Ports These f i v e imaginary Ports: And, i n those half-dry Trenches, spann'd Pow'r which the Ocean might command. (XLIV) Here i s the opposite movement from Cromwell's departure "from his private Gardens" into the public realm. I f there i s some-thing ludicrous i n a man of such potential playing i n his "imaginary Forts", Marvell i s also quick to add that such 155 withdrawal not only pleases God, but i s i n i t s e l f necessary for sanctity: Por he did, with his utmost S k i l l , Ambition weed, but Conscience t i l l . Conscience. that Heaven-nursed Plant, Which most our Earthly Gardens want* A p r i c k l i n g l e a f i t bears, and such As that which shrinks at ev'ry touch; But Flowrs eternal, and divine, That i n the Crowns of Saints do shine. (Z1V) Although Marvell asserts the rightness of Fairfax's withdrawal, the force of the poetry i n these stanzas i s to stress what i s l o s t when a man who Might once have made our Gardens spring Fresh as his own and f l o u r i s h i n g has settled instead f o r games i n the garden. Marvell has shown that he can construct imaginary worlds i n h i s mind — an a c t i v i t y referred to i n "The Garden" — and he sees Fairfax: as able to go further and give concrete embodiment to his play-world. As we have seen often, both withdrawal and commitment are ambivalent choices f o r Marvell and the good l i f e seems to demand a balance of each. As a witty poem i n favour of the a r t f u l place of withdrawal, Upon Appleton House i s , f o r a l l of the q u a l i f i c a t i o n s , an endorsement of withdrawal, of orderly worlds of the imagination rather than the chaos of public 156 a f f a i r s . Near the end of the poem he praises the estate thus: ' Tis not, what once i t was, the World: But a rude heap together hurl'd; A l l negligently overthrown, G-ulfes, Deserts, Precipices, Stone. Your lesser World contains the same. But i n more decent Order tame; You Heaven's Center. Nature's Lap. And Paradice' s only Map^ (ilcXXXVl) While an ordered estate may be more attractive than a chaotic world, i t i s not necessarily good to stay there. "Thus i f the estate f i n a l l y offers "Paradice 1s only Map." i t does so s t i l l only as an inn, f i t l y reminding us how to earn that b l i s s f u l 16 seat — by leaving i t . " To t h i s pertinent comment, I add the observation that a map i s most useful for those a c t i v e l y engaged i n seeking the place represented. More s t r i k i n g than t h i s hint i s the contrast of the f i n a l stanza, f o r the eloquent praise i s not the l a s t word 17 of the poem. Por his f i n a l coup, Marvell again changes tone: M.J.K. O'Loughlin, "This Sober Frame: A Reading of "Upon Appleton House" i n Lord (ed.), Andrew Marvell: A Collection of  C r i t i c a l Essays. p. 14-1. 17 It i s easy f o r some c r i t i c s to imagine that i t i s . Dennis Davison's Survey of Upon Appleton House i n his The Poetry of  Andrew Marvell (London, 1964)concludes with the stanza just quoted. O'Loughlin, i n his own terms, does give f a i r attention to the f i n a l stanza. 157 But now the Salmon-Fishers moist Their Leathern Boats begin to hoist; And, l i k e Antipodes i n Shoes, Have shod t h e i r Heads i n t h e i r Canoos. How Tortoise l i k e . but not so slow, These r a t i o n a l Amphibii go? Let's i n : for the dark Hemisphere Does now l i k e one of them appear. (LXXXXVTl) The i n i t i a l "But" suggests that we have had enough of games and of indulgent praise. Marvell, returning to his role of t o u r i s t guide, offers to usher people inside from threatening darkness. Yet his 'no nonsense' manner i s accompanied by some of the most extravagant l i n e s i n the poem. The poem returns to a heavy reliance on v i s u a l perceptions as a basis f o r the wit. Things seen now r e c a l l e a r l i e r images. The inversion of the "Antipodes i n Shoes" r e c a l l s the "inverted Tree" of an e a r l i e r stanza. The previous reference to tortoises came at the beginning of the poem: The low roof'd Tortoises do dwell In cases f i t of T o r t o i s e - s h e l l : No Creature loves an empty space; Their Bodies measure out t h e i r Place. ( l l ) The threatening "dark Hemisphere" contrasts to the security represented by the dome within the house: Yet thus the laden House does sweat, And scarce indures the Master great; But where he comes the swelling H a l l S t i r s , and the Square grows Spherical. ( V i i ) 158 Yet that same "dark Hemisphere" also resembles one of the boats which resemble the tortoise shells which i m p l i c i t l y resemble the sober and protective frame of Appleton House i t s e l f I Other similar observations could be made, confirming t h i s f i n a l stanza's importance as one where major themes i n the poem are drawn together. Por a l l of i t s decisive a i r , the poem's close does not •answer' the question of whether the place to which men with-draw i s r e a l l y so protective and free from the threats which a l l men face. The decisive "Let's i n " depends on an ambiguous reason: for the dark Hemisphere Does not l i k e one of them appear. "Appear" i s a challenging word to use here. It r e c a l l s the poem's recurrent consideration of the "appearance-reality" theme, which we have seen to be related to the examinations of withdrawal and of playfulness. This i s the f i r s t time i n the poem that anyone but Pairfax deigns to enter the house i t s e l f , that "sober Frame" which i s the centre of the estate's coherence. The extravagant and complex f i n a l e , while concluding with enigma, concludes too with a fine compliment to the house, and so to Pairfax: when threats appear, that house represents 159 safety and a shield from natural forces. Mary Fairfax receives the poem's most fulsome praise. While the function claimed f o r her i s comparable to that of Elizabeth Drury i n Donne's Anniversaries. her effect i s less universal, since she gives order only to the "lesser World" of her father's estate: 'Tis She that to these Gardens gave That wondrous Beauty which they have; She streightness on the Woods bestows; To Her the Meadow sweetness owes; Nothing could make the River be So Chrystal-pure but only She: She yet more Pure, Sweet, Streight, and Pair, Then Gardens, Woods, Meads, Rivers are. (LXXXVIl) As elsewhere i n the poem, Marvell uses the language of extravagant praise to express certain truths. The writing i s less successful i n t h i s section of the poetry: too much operates only as vapid gestures, i n spite of the obvious intentions behind the writing. My comment here derives from an observation by S. Goldberg, "Andrew Marvell", Melbourne C r i t i c a l Review. No. 3 (i960), p. 50: "And the f i n a l i n v i t a t i o n to turn indoors from the darkness of the world, which i s perhaps r e a l l y the darkness of man himself, involves a compliment to the house as large as the whole poem and yet, with the unobtrusive delicacy Marvell t y p i c a l l y conceals i n "wit", a compliment precisely measured." 160 The most notable stanza within the "Maria" section of the poem i s a digression from direct praise of the heroine: G-o now fond Sex that on your Pace Do a l l your useless Study place, Nor once at Vice your Brows dare knit Lest the smooth Porehead wrinkled s i t : Yet your own Pace s h a l l at you grin, Thorough the Black-bag of your Skin; When knowledge only could have f i l l ' d And Virtue a l l those Purrows t i l l ' d . (LXXXXIl) The macabre effect of t h i s stanza comes from that characteristic quality of much of Marvell's best writing, the combination of sharp v i s u a l observation and the use of extraordinary perspective. The success of the allegory i n the stanza contrasts with the weakness of the e a r l i e r l i n e s on Maria: Blest Nymph1 that couldst so soon prevent Those Trains by Youth against thee meant; Tears (watry Shot that pierce the Mind;) And Sighs (Loves Cannon charg'd with Wind;) True Praise (That breaks through a l l defence;) And feign'd complying Innocence; But knowing where t h i s Ambush lay, She scap'd the safe, but roughest Way. (LXXXX) Marvell disappoints, too, when offering another kind of praise, through images of Maria's effect on her surroundings: The viscous A i r , wheres'ere She f l y , Pollows and sucks her Azure dy; The gellyin g Stream compacts below, If i t might f i x her shadow so; The stupid Pishes hang, as p l a i n As P l i e s i n Chrystal overt'ane; And Men the s i l e n t Scene a s s i s t , Charm'd with the Saphir-winged Mist. (LXXXV) 161 The intended images of peace and order appear as images of paralysis and enervation. The poetry i s suggesting the cost of imposing order upon nature 1s chaotic plenitude, but the cost to the poetry i t s e l f i s a discrepancy between an intention of praise and the effects of a certain kind of peace. Maria's effect i s as p o t e n t i a l l y unhealthy as that of the f a l s e with-drawal which the d e c e i t f u l nuns preached to her ancestor, Isabella Thwaites. I do not believe that Marvell wants to stress that s i m i l a r i t y , but he does regard her present withdrawal as a prelude to an emergence comparable to that of Isabella Thwaites: Hence She with Graces more divine Supplies beyond her Sex the Line; And, l i k e a sprig of Misleto, On the F a i r f a c i a n Oak does grow; Whence, fo r some universal good, The Priest s h a l l cut the sacred Bud; While her glad Parents most rejoice, And make t h e i r Destiny t h e i r Choice. ( L X X X X I I I ) Once again withdrawal from the world i s presented as an incomplet way of l i f e . Several factors work against Marvell's using Mary Fairfax i n his poem as successfully as Donne uses Elizabeth Drury. Donne Second Anniversary succeeds as so much more than a complimentary poem because the terms of compliment are integrated with a theological-philosophical discussion that makes free use of a 162 range of language inaccessible to Marvell. Donne has the advantage of celebrating a dead heroine, whose loss produces the chaotic condition now obvious to a l l , whose b e n e f i c i a l effects are seen as existing c h i e f l y i n memory. He can afford to be vaguer about the id e n t i t y of "her" than can Marvell, with Mary Fairfax walking i n his presence. Making Maria an enemy of play i s an incongruous move i n view of his own dependence on apparently t r i v i a l "Toyes" such as those he must put away i n her presence: But now away my Hooks, my Q u i l l s , And Angles, i d l e Utensils. The young Maria walks to night: Hide t r i f l i n g Youth thy Pleasures s l i g h t . •Twere shame that such judicious Eyes Should with such Toyes a Man surprize; She that already i s the Law Of a l l her Sex, her Ages Aw. (LXXXIl) Elsewhere gestures of sobriety have preceded great extravagance i n the writing, and the success of the writing has come from a play of the pose against the extravagance, and that i n turn against the sober order i n the verse. With Maria, such interplay i s harder to manage, Marvell's clownish pose j a r r i n g awkwardly with the attempt at fulsome praise. Donne, fo r a l l of his extravagance, i s much less of a clown. In h is poetry, Marvell's play i s usually more forced than Donne's. The difference i n quality i s connected with the distance which Marvell's playfulness puts between the man himself and the 163 figure he cuts i n his poems. Whether he uses personae or speaks i n his own voice, he has d i f f i c u l t y i n engaging d i r e c t l y his major concerns. Donne, on the other hand, i n spite of his distancing devices and mannerisms, writes often from the heart of his own experience. In his love poems, Donne writes as one p a r t i c i p a t i n g i n the relationships being discussed, and i n his r e l i g i o u s poems he i s frequently shown as wrestling with problems of salvation. We tend to see Marvell b r i l l i a n t l y weighing l i f e ' s p o s s i b i l i t i e s , issues that c l e a r l y concern him, but which he can confront only by seeing them with 19 reference to others or by severe d i s t o r t i o n of his own presence. There are many possible reasons f o r t h i s difference. One may be a sharper sense of anguish that goes with Marvell's comic st y l e ; his r e l a t i v e sadness makes a more direct confrontation of events too d i f f i c u l t . A cause of this sadness may be insecurity. One factor i n t h i s could well be a decay of b e l i e f during the f i r s t part of the seventeenth century, between Donne's generation and Marvell's. There i s less about which Marvell can be certain, especially i n view of the traumatic experience of a c i v i l war. Robert E l l r o d t comments on the difference i n r e l a t i o n to his theme of "self-consciousness" : "le premier /JDonne7 a une conscience aigue de son coeur, de ses nerfs, de sa fievre i n t e l l e c t u e l l e . Le second /"MarvellJ tend a depouiller l a conscience de s o i de toute p a r t i c u l a r i t e concrete, a I'epurer en une conscience de conscience tout ideale," L'inspiration  personelle et 1'esprit du temps chez les poetes mltaphysiques  anglais T P a r i s . I960). II, 129. 164 Besides such factors forced on Marvell by his time, there i s the contrast suggested above and evident i n the poetry. Marvell, unlike Donne i s most cases, does not write his greatest poetry from the basis of r e l a t i v e l y secure relationships with others. Marvell has a remarkable capacity f o r seeing things, even grazing c a t t l e , from many perspectives. At the same time, while we f i n d a commitment to certain values i n the l i g h t of man's 'amphibious' situation, and a search for people or causes that embody those values, he finds — i n the poems I have discussed — no person or f a i t h to which he w i l l commit himself unequivocally. While th i s i s his personal misfortune, i t i s also an important factor behind his p a r t i c u l a r style of writing. 165 CHAPTER V THE SECOND ANNIVERSARY The d i f f i c u l t y of The Second Anniversary arises partly from Donne's apparent ambiguity as to what exactly he i s arguing, from the contradictory roles he gives to i t s main figures, Elizabeth Drury and Donne himself."'" The s u b t i t l e reads, "Of the Progres of the Soule, Wherein: By Occasion of the Religious Death of M i s t r i s Elizabeth Drury the Incommodities of the Soule i n this L i f e and her Exaltation i n the Next, are Contemplated." While part of the poem's argument i s that things are better a f t e r death, i t also has a strong sense of the continuity between thi s world and the next, as represented especially i n the l i f e and death of i t s heroine. It i s concerned with the progress of a soul i n this world, especially the progress of Donne's soul. Among the many studies of The Second Anniversary. the following are especially important: Marjorie Hope Nicolson, The Breaking of the C i r c l e . 2nd ed. (New York, I960), ch.3; Louis L. Martz, The Poetry of Meditation. 2nd ed. (New Haven, Conn,, 1962), ch.6; Rosalie Colie, Paradoxia Epidemica (Princeton, N.J., 1966), ch.13; O.B. Hardi son, J r . , The Enduring Monument (Chapel H i l l , N.C., 1962); P.G. Stanwood, " • E s s e n t i a l l Joye' i n Donne's Anniversaries," TSLL, XXII ( l 9 7 l ) ; the Introduction to John Donne: The Anniversaries. ed. Prank Manley (Baltimore, 1963). I quote from Manley's edition, but have altered his typography s l i g h t l y , p r i n t i n g i> J.» ii J azid v i n accordance with modern usage. 166 But t h i s concern i s developed i n paradoxical ways, i n response to a paradoxical world. In t h i s chapter, I look f i r s t at the place Donne gives himself i n the poem, and at the problems of s e l f - d e f i n i t i o n that he considers. I consider the place of the poem's heroine, asking who she i s and how she i s related to the theme of the soul's progress. The p o s s i b i l i t y of the soul's progress i n a f a l l e n world leads to questions about knowledge and about the power of poetry. In the l i g h t of my comments on these matters, I look further at why Donne goes about his examination i n so strange a way. The poem concludes with a strong affirmation of Donne's own status: Thou art the Proclamation; and I ame The Trumpet, at whose voice the people came. (527-528) Donne, l i k e his heroine, has a s o c i a l r o l e . As poet, he praises her and serves others. His role as intermediary has been stressed early i n the poem. The opening movement culminates i n the l i n e s : Yet a new Deluge, and of Lethe flood, Hath drown'd^ us a l l , A l l have forgot a l l good, Porgetting her, the maine Reserve of a l l ; Yet i n this Deluge, grosse and generall, Thou seest mee s t r i v e f o r l i f e ; my l i f e shalbe, To bee hereafter prais'd, f o r praysing thee, Immortal Mayd . . . . (27-33) Manley's "drown' us" i s surely a misprint. 167 "Thou seest me st r i v e f o r l i f e " i s a key statement i n the poem. The opening l i n e s show Donne s t r i v i n g to understand the world i n i t s present state, and the rest of the poem shows that his str i v i n g s depend on his response to the "Immortal Mayd" and to a l l that she represents. Further, a reader's response to that s t r i v i n g i s to affect h i s , and the world's, hopes f o r salvation, especially i f that response i s the creative one of a poet: These Hymes may worke on future wits, and so May great Grand-children of thy praises grow. And so, though not Revive, enbalme, and spice The world, which else would p u t r i f y with vice. (37-40) Having invoked the "Immortal Mayd", Donne begins that dialogue with his own soul which continues through the poem, a dialogue which demands r e f l e c t i o n upon the one who has gone: Thirst for that time, 0 my insatiate soule, And serve thy t h i r s t , with Gods safe-sealing Bowie. Bee t h i r s t y s t i l l , and drinke s t i l l t i l l thou goe; 'Tis th'onely Health, to be Hydropique so. Looke upward; that's towards her, whose happy state We now lament not, but congratulate. (45-48; 65-66) He begins to f u l f i l his prediction that we are to see him st r i v e f o r l i f e ; such l i f e depends on h i s praising of her, not as an arbit r a r y reward, but because r e f l e c t i o n on her importance i s i t s e l f a means of discovering l i f e . 168 In addressing his own soul, Donne sometimes appears to contradict himself, as i n these l i n e s : Thinke then, My soule, that death i s but a Groome, Which brings a Taper to the outward roome, Thinke thee l a i d on thy death bed, loose and slacke; And thinke that but unbinding of a packe, To take one precious thing, thy soule, from thence. (85-86; 93-95) The "thy" of "thy soule" i s i t s e l f "My soule"! The d i f f i c u l t y highlights one of the problems of s e l f - d e f i n i t i o n i n the poem, and also relates to some of the poem's d i f f i c u l t i e s . Sometimes Donne uses the word "soul" to refer to a philosophically-conceived thing, that which i s i n man other than his body. But he also uses the word i n a richer sense, r e f e r r i n g to something more active, i n effect to Donne himself as an i n t e l l i g e n t and r e f l e c t i v e person. A d i s t i n c t i o n made early i n The F i r s t  Anniversary anticipates Donne's practice i n the Second: When that r i c h soule which to her Heaven i s gone, Whom a l l they celebrate, who know they have one, (For who i s sure he hath a soule, unlesse I t see, and Judge, and follow worthinesse, And by Deedes praise i t ? He who doth not t h i s , May lodge an In-mate soule, but t i s not his.) (1-6) At times i n The Second Anniversary Donne uses the notion of "an In-mate soule", something l i k e the imprisoned b i r d of Marvell's "The Garden", waiting for the chance to f l y from 169 i t s cage, "the Bodies Vest", and from a corrupt world. At other times he addresses a soul which i s t r u l y "his", which represents his own capacity f o r understanding and w i l l i n g , a capacity proper to a man l i v i n g and acting i n the world, A d u a l i s t i c 'body-soul' usage allows Donne to stress disgusting and destructive features of l i f e on earth. The 'body' can represent those f l e s h l y things which keep man from what Donne sees as true self-awareness and f u l f i l m e n t . He overstates one truth, that man i s a f a l l e n creature i n a f a l l e n world. In his account of 'her', he overstates the complementary truth, the power of incarnate grace to make a holy l i f e , and even heaven, possible on earth: "they'are i n Heaven on Earth, who Heavens workes do" (-1.154). To reconcile both b e l i e f s , Donne has recourse to exaggeration and paradoxical argument. Man on earth cannot see c l e a r l y , a point the poem makes often. Donne makes his own contribution to clear sight by a highly serious playing, his own form of 3 "sacred play". By proposing that he himself i s a mysterious fusion of body and soul, thus posing the problem of identity, Donne gives The term i s derived from Prank J. Warnke, "Sacred Play: Baroque Poetic Style," JAAC, XXII (1964), 455-464, although that a r t i c l e offers l i t t l e s p e c i f i c help on t h i s poem. 1 7 0 a c r u c i a l case of the problems of perspective and ide n t i t y that dominate the poem. The poem's central concern, from which others radiate, i s to discover the nature and p o s s i b i l i t i e s of this mysterious s e l f , seen i n r e l a t i o n to the mysterious "she". II Much discussion of both Anniversary poems has been concerned with the id e n t i t y of the person whose death i s lamented and celebrated. Ben Jonson's alleged comment, "that Dones Anniversarie was profane and f u l l of Blasphemies," 4 i s a reminder that the poem was elusive even for an i n t e l l i g e n t contemporary. Elizabeth Drury i s even more puzzling a figure for twentieth-century readers less f a m i l i a r with habits of thought which permitted poets to use an image of a departed 5 woman as a symbol of other losses. Basic to the complex use of t h i s mysterious figure i n the poem i s Donne's supposition that Elizabeth Drury represents Prom 'Ben Jonson's Conversations with William Drummond of Hawthornden, " quoted i n Ben Jonson, Works, ed. CH. Herford and Percy Simpson, I (Oxford, 1 9 2 5 ) , p. 1 3 3 . 5 Examples include the c h i l d i n Pearl, Beatrice i n Dante's Divine Comedy. Perdita i n The Winter's Tale. Rilke's use of Vera Knoop i n Sonette an Orpheus i s a modern example of a sim i l a r tendency. 171 the p o s s i b i l i t y of incarnate grace, of the Word, again made fl e s h according to the promise of John's Gospel: But as many as received him, to them he gave power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: Which were born, not of blood, nor of the w i l l of the f l e s h , nor of the w i l l of man, but of God. And the Word was made fl e s h , and dwelt amongst us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) f u l l of grace and truth. U, 12-14) On the occasion of Elizabeth Drury's death, Donne decided that " i t became me to say, not what I was sure was just truth, but the best that I could conceive."^ The best he could conceive was one who received God's grace and became l i k e Christ, the Incarnate Word, l i v i n g and dying i n the most perfect way possible for f a l l e n , yet redeemed mankind. In many ways such a person w i l l approach the condition of men before the F a l l : Shee, to whom a l l t h i s world was but a stage, Where a l l sat harkning how her youthfull age Should be emploid, because i n a l l , shee did, Some Figure of the Golden times, was hid.^ (67-70) From a l e t t e r quoted i n Edmund Gosse, The L i f e and Letters  of John Donne (London, 1899), I, 306. 7 The idea of a "Figure" being "hid" i n her r e c a l l s the d i s -cussion of the notion of "figure" i n r e l a t i o n to medieval English drama by V.A. Kolve, The Play Called Corpus C h r i s t i (London, 1966). His comments on the ease x^ith which an e a r l i e r age, by no means vanished when Donne wrote, saw the r e l a t i o n of events i s relevant to the ways i n which time i s condensed i n this poem. The reference to "stage" i n 1.67 r e c a l l s the practice of medieval drama, the l i b e r a l and conscious use of anachronisms, as expounded by Kolve 172 Yet even Elizabeth Drury must die: one lesson of her l i f e and death i s that even for the best of mankind, "Death must usher, and unlocke the doore" (1.156). Donne knows that such perfection i s impossible, but since t h e o r e t i c a l l y men are given power to become sons of God, to be f u l l y informed by grace i n t h e i r l i v e s , such a figure may meaningfully be supposed and contemplated. Further, he sees that this very p o s s i b i l i t y i s a challenge to du a l i s t conceptions, to the b e l i e f that a l l f l e s h i s inevitably corrupt. Her f l e s h i s presented quite d i f f e r e n t l y i n the poem, even though she i s subject to death: Shee, of whose soule, i f we may say, t 1 was Gold, Her body was th'Electrum, and did hold Many degrees of that; we understood Her by her sight, her pure and eloquent blood Spoke i n her cheekes, and so d i s t i n c k l y wrought, That one might almost say, her bodie thought, Shee, shee, thus r i c h l y , and largely hous'd, i s gone. (241-7) Although the reference to "a yeare" i s a reminder that this i s a memorial poem to Elizabeth Drury, the poem's f i r s t references to her boldly suggest images of Christ: Nothing could make mee sooner to confesse That this world had an everlastingnesse, Then to consider, that a yeare i s runne, Since both this lower worlds, and the Sunnes Sunne, The l u s t r e , and the vigor of t h i s A l l , Did set; t'were Blasphemy, to say, did f a l l . (1-6) and shown especially i n the work of the Wakefield Master. Kolve's discussion of 'play' i s enlightening also. 173 "The Sunnes Sunne" must be Christ, and only of G-od i s so strong a word as "Blasphemy" applicable. Donne, picking up the s c r i p t u r a l notion tlaat the Word may become fle s h i n tlie true believer, w i t t i l y draws the further conclusion that the death of such a person, Elizabeth Drury, i s a passing of the Word of G-od from the earth. He considers the consequences of such a passing, arguing that the world now i s indeed without i t s source of l i f e ; he pretends to be amazed that the world continues to exist, and proposes a series of s t a r t l i n g images to explain t h i s existence. Once more we f i n d Donne expanding a s c r i p t u r a l suggestion: " A l l things were made by him; and without him was not made any thing that was made" (John i . 3). The poem plays with chronology and with our notions of time as i t merges the recent departure of Elizabeth Drury with the P a l l , the o r i g i n a l separation of the world from the Word by whom i t was made. Throughout the poem, "she" alternates between her roles as a person and as the Incarnate Word. Mysteriously she i s both, a status reasserted i n the comment at the poem's end, "Thou art the Proclamation", which picks up something of the richness of the term 'logos' for which 'word' i s so feeble a translation. The poem i n s i s t s that her presence i n the world could make i t a good place: 174 Who could not lacke, what ere th i s world could give, Because shee was the forme, that made i t l i v e ; Nor could complaine, that t h i s world was u n f i t , To be st a i d i n , then when shee was i n i t ; Shee, shee embrac1d a sicknesse, gave i t meat, The purest Blood, and Breath, that ere i t eat. Shee, who had Here so much e s s e n t i a l l joye, As no chance could d i s t r a c t , much lesse destroy; Who with Gods presence was acquainted so, (Hearing, and speaking to him) as to know His face, i n any n a t u r a l l Stone, or Tree, Better then when i n Images they bee: Who being heare f i l d with grace, yet strove to bee, Both where more grace, and more capacitee At once i s given: shee to Heaven i s gone, Who made t h i s world i n some proportion A heaven, and here, became unto us a l l , Joye, (as our joyes admit) e s s e n t i a l l . . (71-4; 147-8; 449-54; 465-70) I f she can be a pattern f o r l i f e as well as f o r death, some such condition must again be possible, and the poem sets t h i s p o s s i b i l i t y against the apparent corruption of the world and i t s own c a l l s for reject i o n of the world. It i s important, then, that men learn to l i v e well i n this world. References to the Resurrection stress the con-t i n u i t y of the a f t e r - l i f e with the present, and Elizabeth Drury shows how easy and intimate a thing such continuity may be: Shee, who i n th'Art of knowing Heaven, was growen Here upon Earth, to such perfection, That shee hath, ever since tq Heaven shee came, (in a f a r f a i r e r print,) but read the same. (311-315) 175 Death, of course, i s necessary, and i t i s often invoked as the great l i b e r a t o r : But thinke that Death hath now enfranchis'd thee, Thou hast thy 1 expansion now and l i b e r t e e . (179-180) Only a f t e r death can we expect to know " e s s e n t i a l l joy" (1.387) rather than "accidental joyes" (l.384). But some " e s s e n t i a l l joy" has been available on earth: Shee, who had Here so much e s s e n t i a l l joye, As no chance could d i s t r a c t , much lesse destroy; Who with Gods presence was acquainted so, (Hearing, and speaking to him) as to know His face, i n any n a t u r a l l Stone, or Tree, Better then when i n Images they bee. (449-454) Although Elizabeth Drury had to die to r e a l i z e her potential, something valuable i s possible i n t h i s l i f e . The P i r s t  Anniversary offered a simple and commonplace association of b i r t h and death: W i l l yearly celebrate thy second b i r t h , That i s , thy death. Por though the soule of man Be got when man i s made, ' t i s borne but than When man doth die. Our body's as the wombe, And as a mid-wife death directs i t home. (450-454) The Second Anniversary i s interested i n a new p o s s i b i l i t y , the power of grace, an intermediate occasion of paradoxical b i r t h -1 7 6 death during a person's l i f e : Por when our soule enjoyes th i s [de&thj her t h i r d b i r t h , (Creation gave her one, a second, grace.) ( 2 1 4 - 2 1 5 ) The good person brings some kind of heaven into being upon earth: (Por they'are i n Heaven on Earth, who Heavens workes do,) . . . . shee to Heaven i s gone, Who made thi s world i n some proportion A heaven, and here, became unto us a l l , Joye, (as oure joyes admit) e s s e n t i a l l . ( 1 5 4 ; 4 6 7 - 4 7 0 ) To experience the second b i r t h of grace i s to anticipate i n a r e a l way the t h i r d b i r t h of death. The poem exploits the metaphoric p o s s i b i l i t i e s of these associations. When the soul makes i t s spectacular journey to heaven, the image becomes a metaphorical account of the second b i r t h of grace as well as of the t h i r d b i r t h of death: But thinke that Death hath now enfranchis'd thee, Thou hast thy'expansion now and li b e r t e e ; Thinke that a rusty Peece, discharg'd, i s flowen In peeces, and the bulle t i s his owne, And f r e e l y f l i e s : This to thy soule allow, Thinke thy sheell broke, thinke thy Soule hatch'd but now. And thinke th i s slow-pac'd soule, which l a t e did cleave, To'a body, and went but by the bodies leave, Twenty, perchance, or t h i r t y mile a day, Dispatches i n a minute a l l the way, Twixt Heaven, and Earth . . . . (179-189) 177 The repeated "thinke" i n s i s t s on the importance of the f l i g h t being imagined, on the need for an imaginative l i b e r a t i o n as prelude to an expansion of the s p i r i t . The poem i s continually engaged i n making such imaginative expansions possible. When Donne contemplates the soul's journey "at, and through the Firmament" (1.206), the methods of the passage seriously qualify the apparent rejection of the world. The strength of the writing at i t s best derives from i t s perceptions of mortal things: And as these stars were but so many beades Strunge on one s t r i n g , speed undistinguish'd leades Her through those spheares, as through the beades, a s t r i n g , Whose quick succession makes i t s t i l l one thing: As doth the Pith, which, least our Bodies slacke, Strings fast the l i t t l e bones of necke, and backe; So by the soule doth death s t r i n g Heaven and Earth. (207-213) A few l i n e s l a t e r Donne makes a parenthetical comment on the use of splendid 'earthly' comparisons: Shee, i n whose body ( i f wee dare prefer This low world, to so high a mark, as shee,) The Westerne treasure, Esterne spiceree, Europe, and Afrique, and the unknowen rest Were e a s i l y found, or what i n them was best. ( 2 2 6 - 2 3 0 ) It may be true that earthly things are feeble r e f l e c t i o n s of the divine, but they are also splendid and they are what men have to work with. I f they are r e f l e c t i o n s , they are also 178 signs of G-od, a point often made by George Herbert's poems, A person s t r i v i n g f o r l i f e through contemplation of an Elizabeth Drury can f i n d i t only by looking around him and, his capacities expanded by grace and by poetry, by assessing the significance of what he finds. The withdrawn "annihilating" mind of Marvell's "The Garden" and of the situations parodied i n Marvell's reference are firmly rejected by the procedure of The Second Anniversary. I l l Even f o r her, perceptions on earth were dimmed. Donne considers the general question of human perceptions i n t h i s passage: In t h i s low forme, poore soule what w i l t thou doe? When wilt thou shake o f f this Pedantery, Of being taught by sense, and Fantasy? Thou look'st through spectacles; small things seeme great, Below; but up into the watch-towre get, And see a l l things despoyld of fallacies:: Thou shalt not peepe through l a t t i c e s of eies, Nor heare through Laberinths of eares, nor learne By c i r c u i t , or collections to discerne. In Heaven thou straight know'st a l l , concerning i t , And what concerns i t not, s h a l l straight forget. There thou (but i n no other schoole) maist bee Perchance, as learned, and as f u l l , as shee. (290-302) The exhortation seems to apply to the present. Although clear v i s i o n i s to be possible only i n heaven, the w i l l i n g soul can 179 do something to prepare f o r that v i s i o n . But i t s preparation must r e l y to some extent on those " l a t t i c e s of eies" and "Laberinths of eares": a soul trying to ascent "the watch— towre" i n t h i s l i f e cannot do so divorced from eyes and ears. The poetry shows considerable dependence on the senses, on methods of discerning "by c i r c u i t , or coll e c t i o n s , " on accumulating a variety of perceptions. The metaphoric strength of t h i s very passage i s in s t r u c t i v e . The word "forme" presents the soul as a schoolboy i n a low grade subject to pedantry — i n contrast to the "schoole" of Heaven — and thus something to be p i t i e d and patronized: "poore soule what w i l t thou doe?" "Forme" also, among i t s variety of possible meanings, suggests a mould, compelling shape upon something naturally f l u i d . In the quiet imagery of " a l l things despoyld of f a l l a c i e s " i s the suggestion of at t r a c t i v e booty awaiting a plunderer. The b r i l l i a n t image of peeping through l a t t i c e s of eyes catches well the paradox that the understanding offered i n the poetry depends on those very acts which are apparently mocked. Herein i s a rationale f o r Donne's own procedure as poet. Man on earth cannot "see a l l things despoyld of f a l l a c i e s . " More prosaic, ' s c i e n t i f i c ' approaches to under-standing w i l l not give the truth, whereas poetry, by recognising 180 and embracing the shortcomings of human v i s i o n , i s able to enlarge man's imaginative capacities, to a s s i s t the progress of the soul during l i f e on earth. The poem's f i n a l l i n e s imply that the "Proclamation" of her l i f e and of a l l that i t means would not be heard at a l l without "the Trumpet" of the poet. The poet i n a f a l l e n world may not save men, but he can help: These Hymes may worke on future wits, and so May great Grand-children of thy praises grow. And so, though not Revive, enbalme, and spice The world, which else would p u t r i f y with v i c e . Por thus, Man may extend thy progeny, U n t i l l man doe but vanish, and not die. These Hymns thy issue, may encrease so long, As t i l l Gods great Venite change the song. (37-44) The musical imagery suggests a connection and continuity between the poet's music and that of heaven: the songs of poets are i n some ways preparatory f o r the great song which w i l l come af t e r the Resurrection. The truths reached by the poet are i n some ways re f l e c t i o n s of divine truths, of things "despoyled of f a l l a c i e s " but remaining "things", and prepare men f o r a comprehension of them. Such c r i t i c s as Louis L. Martz have traced the general shape of the argument i n The Second Anniversary. usefully establishing that i t i s more integrated than a random c o l l e c t i o n 181 of s t r i k i n g images and eloquent passages. In spite of the formal coherence, the poem remains evasive i n many ways, Donne seeming to declare himself firmly f o r a number of positions. I have already looked at places where the manner and language of the poetry complements or even contradicts the positions apparently advanced i n the 'argument'. Two passages especially make an impression that seems out of proportion to t h e i r apparent place i n the 'argument'. Early i n the poem comes the image of the beheaded man: Or as sometimes i n a beheaded man, Though at those two Red seas, which f r e e l y ran, One from the Trunke, another from the Head, His soule be s a i l d , to her e t e r n a l l bed, His eies w i l l twinckle, and his tongue w i l l r o l l , As though he beckned, and cal'd backe his Soul, He grasps his hands, and he puis up his feet, And seems to reach, and to step f o r t h to meet His soule. ( 9 - 1 7 ) The length of t h i s simile seems out of proportion to i t s function i n Donne's argument, while the obvious delight i n i t s d e t a i l s seems indecorous and puzzling i n view of the The Poetry of Meditation, pp. 2 3 6 - 2 3 7 . 182 horror of the image and i t s apparent use as an image of "motion i n corruption" (l.22). The apparent point of the comparison i s that not only does the world deprived of i t s "Sunne" give a misleading semblance of v i t a l i t y , but that i t does so i n a way grotesque and monstrous, l i k e the body without i t s head. Yet the grotesque image i s presented i n so p l a y f u l a way, i n a rhythmic movement that so sparkles with delight that the beheaded man, and l i k e him the world, sparkle i n t h e i r very perversity. The man "seemes to reach, and to step f o r t h to meet / His soule." I f thi s represents "motion i n corruption", i t presents a pregnant suggestion as to what such motion may mean. The behaviour of the man represents the body's natural desire fo r union with the soul. The idea of the soul s a i l i n g to "her e t e r n a l l bed" i s a reminder that an active soul needs to be associated xirith a body. Indeed, Donne's sense of the Resurrection and of i t s r e l a t i o n to the proper unity of man, as presented through the poem, severely q u a l i f i e s the notion casually offered at thi s point that resting i n an eternal bed i s a l l that the soul seeks a f t e r death: that, i s certainly not what "she" does. I f the man and the world he represents are grotesque, the cause i s an unnatural separation which can be healed: the world, l i k e the man, seeks l o s t unity. 183 The point I wish to stress at present i s that Donne i s formally presenting a simple view about the world's loss and introducing, as i f i n passing, an impressive image which suggests that things are more complex than Donne e x p l i c i t l y admits. A comparable passage comes l a t e r i n the poem, where the language that apparently in v i t e s disgust also offers a more complex view than the overt argument permits: Thinke that no stubborne sullen Anchorit, Which f i x t to'a P i l l a r , or a Grave doth s i t Bedded and Bath'd i n a l l h is Ordures, dwels So fowly as our soules, i n t h e i r f i r s t - b u i l t Cels. (169-172) Donne seems to l i n g e r upon repulsive d e t a i l s ; the pairing of words adds to t h i s e f f e c t : "stubborn sullen", "a P i l l a r , or a Grave", "Bedded and Bath'd". But the precision and rhythmic energy of the l i n e s imply a delight stronger than mere perversity. The cause f o r delight becomes apparent i n view of the detai l s of the comparison. The hermit has chosen to l i v e thus f o r the sake of h is salvation, and the ordures with which he l i v e s are his own. So too the soul must seek out i t s salvation i n and with a body, a body which had no existence except as the soul gave i t one. While the open expression of disgust allows Donne to write of one group of truths, the style and the implications of the imagery allow him to suggest complementary ones. 184 In both of these passages, Donne plays up his role as Preacher, thundering forth with those diatribes which must sound simple and uncompromising i f they are to be ef f e c t i v e : a l l seems subordinate to general propositions that ignore the more subtle implications of h i s imagery. Upon thi s basic structure, Donne as Poet offers more subtle insights, hints which l i n k up with more e x p l i c i t statements elsewhere, aspects of the truth which take on more meaning as they become part of the complex movement of the whole poem. The presence of Donne as Preacher i s q u a l i f i e d always by the sense of s e l f -dialogue which I described e a r l i e r : he i s pu b l i c l y addressing himself, s t r i v i n g f o r l i f e . The puzzling nature of the poem i s a response to the puzzling nature of the problems i t explores. Rosalie Colie has commented that the Anniversaries "accept contradiction and paradox as the basis of limited human existence and of human understanding s t i l l more limited, and simply build upon 9 that acceptance." In this poem Donne builds "upon that acceptance" by astonishing comic procedures that allow him to dramatize himself and his themes with great detachment and with great imaginative scope that depends on the most extravagant conceptions. Its success depends on the fusion of a gai l y play-f u l style and an analysis of central questions about human l i f e . Paradoxia Bpidemica. p. 429. 185 CHAPTER VI CONCLUSION Good poems properly demand th e i r own terms of discussion. Their d i s t i n c t i v e q u a l i t i e s are ea s i l y f a l s i f i e d i n an account that seeks to l i n k such unique works. At the same time, t h e i r s i m i l a r i t i e s are important. In discussing the poems, i t has been appropriate to keep i n mind the broad areas of concern proposed i n the f i r s t chapter. Central has been the question of whether such weight and insight as the poems have exists beside or i n spite of t h e i r writers' tendency to 'vent wit", to utter grand extravagances, to st r i k e astonishing poses. My answer has been "No", and I have argued for the importance to the poems of qu a l i t i e s which come generally under the heading of 'playful'. While i t may be a c r i t i c a l commonplace that the style of a work i s part of i t s meaning, that the manner i n which a poet speaks i s important as what he 'says', such insistence has proved especially relevant to Donne and Marvell. The s t r i k i n g of poses i n some of th e i r poems i s i t s e l f a matter f o r scrutiny and a way of commenting on matters that the poems e x p l i c i t l y consider. The cheeky manner of "The Sunne Rising" i s a poem i n which the style supports the claims of gay i r r e s p o n s i b i l i t y being argued. "To his Coy Mistress" i s a 186 comparable case, the urbanity b e f i t t i n g a poem which argues f o r a w i l l i n g l y chosen i r r a t i o n a l i t y as a way of coping with a world which i s too well-ordered. The more sober play of "A Nocturnall upon S.Lucies Day" i s i t s e l f a way of making that preparation "towards her" which the poem asserts must happen. "The Garden" repeatedly enacts those very attitudes which i t holds up for scrutiny. The Second Anniversary i s at once a persuasion to certain kinds of study and an example of how such study may take place. To speak of poets playing parts i s to comment on t h e i r self-dramatization. I have commented i n e a r l i e r chapters that Marvell i s more guarded than Donne about presenting himself i n poems, more l i k e l y to work through a r e l a t i v e l y impersonal mode. The difference i s only a r e l a t i v e one. Even i n "A Dialogue between the Soul and Body" or the "Mower" poems, the voice i s c l e a r l y Marvell's. Donne, although more open, provokes our uncertainty by seeming to hold dif f e r e n t attitudes at the same time. This playfulness of pose i s more than a conventional mannerism for these poets. Theirs i s not the "squeking Laugh" of Marvell's grasshoppers. They usually present themselves as working out important questions, sometimes under the impulse of a momentous occasion, sometimes at more le i s u r e , but usually as personal problems rather than as i n t e l l e c t u a l exercises. The 187 t h e a t r i c a l i t y with which they do so i s an admission of the i r own tendencies to extravagance and paradox and puts those habits i n perspective. They are self-aware not only i n themes of t h e i r discussion but also i n the manner of that discussion. Extravagance i n style accompanies extravagance i n metaphor and i n t e l l i g e n t l y - c o n t r o l l e d metaphoric l i f e i s the basic strength of these poems. Part of the control derives from that witty self-awarness I have mentioned; the poems of f e r abundant examples of what i s to be controlled. The poems show a remarkable grasp of the variety of things existing i n the world, and at the possible relations between them. Por a l l the apparent insobriety of some of t h e i r claims, the f i n a l effect i s usually very sound and sober, that sobriety being a f r u i t of t h e i r realism. Many of the poems ponder a bewildering variety of alternative actions and judgments, and present far-ranging aspirations. The choices they f i n a l l y o f f e r are usually clear ones, although s i m p l i s t i c decisions or assertions are played against quite complex imaginative a c t i v i t y . I f the poets refuse to be prey to att r a c t i v e fantasies, such as s o l i t a r y l i f e i n a garden, they refuse also to abandon the right to complex moral judgments about, say, the action-contemplation choice even when a Cromwell 188 i s involved, or the right to assert the r e a l power of the un-attainable, whether that be represented by lovers having "World enough and Time", by a "happy Garden-state", or by Elizabeth Drury, the "Idea of a Woman". The choices made i n the poems are made with repeated reference to man's subjection to divergent impulses, to a tension crudely represented by a soul-body contrast, but more subtly explored i n the poets' consideration of t h e i r own positions. Both i n argument and i n t h e i r own r a t i o n a l e , the poems reject dualism, i n asserting man's incarnate nature. We find often the paradox, i n "The Mower's Song", i n some Songs and Sonnets. i n The Second Anniversary. of f l e s h l y a c t i v i t i e s having the power of s p i r i t u a l l i b e r a t i o n . The attractions of 'pure s p i r i t ' , of permanent withdrawal from 'worldly' contacts, are seen as a vanity akin to that of f l e s h l y indulgence, for the nuns i n Upon Appleton House or, with less s i n i s t e r implication, for Marvell himself i n "The Garden". The language of normal discourse being inadequate to cope with some of l i f e ' s most important mysteries, they a l t e r normal l i n g u i s t i c habits and the perspectives they imply. The importance of poetry which does not follow the usual rules i s demonstrated by t h e i r own success. The poems' extravagances 189 of manner are a response to the extravagances of l i f e . I f they are p l a y f u l i n style, that i s partly because Donne and Marvell perceive l i f e as something of a game, a l b e i t a serious one which may involve the remoulding of kingdoms or the salvation of souls. 190 BIBLIOGRAPHY I. Primary Sources This part of the bibliography i s i n three parts. Besides editions cited i n the text, I mention those which are valuable for introductions, notes, or suggestions of alternative readings. A. Editions of Donne. The following four editions are standard: John Donne: The Anniversaries. ed. Prank Manley. Baltimore, 1963. John Donne: The Divine Poems. ed. Helen Gardner. Oxford, 1952. John Donne: The Elegies and the Songs and Sonnets. ed. Helen Gardner. Oxford, 1965. John Donne: The Satires. Epigrams and Verse Letters. ed. Wesley Milgate. Oxford, 1967. The Poems of John Donne. ed. Herbert J.C. Grierson. 2 vols. Oxford, 1912. Standard f o r poems not i n the above editions. Poems. By J.P. With Elegies on the Authors Death. London, 1633. Gosse, Edmund. The L i f e and Letters of John Donne. Dean of  St. Paul 1s. 2 vols. London, 1899. John Donne. Dean of St. Paul's: Complete Poetry and Selected  Prose. ed. John Hayward. London, 1929. 191 Donne. ed. Andrew Wanning. New York, 1962. John Donne: Selected Poetry, ed. Marius Bewley. New York, 1966. The Complete Poetry of John Donne, ed. John T. Shawcross. New York, 1967. John Donne; The Complete English Poems. ed. A.J. Smith. Middlesex, England, 1971. B. Editions of Marvell. The Poems and Letters of Andrew Marvell. ed. H.M, Margoliouth. 2 vols. 2nd ed. Oxford, 1952. The standard edition. Andrew Marvell: Selected Poetry and Prose. ed. Dennis Davison. London, 1952. The Poems of Andrew Marvell. ed, Hugh MacDonald. London, 1952. Marvell. ed. Joseph H. Summers. New York, 1961. Andrew Marvell: Some Poems. ed, James Winny. London, 1962. Andrew Marvell: Selected Poetry, ed. Prank Kermode. New York, 1967. Andrew Marvell; Complete Poetry, ed. George deP. Lord. New York, 1968. C. Other Primary Sources. Browne, Thomas. The Prose of S i r Thomas Browne. ed. Norman Endicott. New York, 1968. Carew, Thomas. The Poems of Thomas Carew. with his Masque  Coelum Brittanicum, ed. Rhodes Dunlap. Oxford, 1949. Chaucer, Geoffrey. The Works of Geoffrey Chaucer, ed. P.N. Robinson. 2nd ed. London, 1966. 192 Crashaw, Richard. The Poems. English. Latin, and Greek of  Richard Crashaw. ed. L.C. Martin, 2nd ed. Oxford, 1957* Dryden, John. Essays of John Dryden. ed. W.P. Ker. 2 vols. Oxford, 1900. E l i o t , T.S. Pour Quartets. London, 1944. Gardner, Helen, ed. The Metaphysical Poets. London, 1957. G r e v i l l e , Pulke. Selected Poems, ed. Thorn Gunn. Chicago, 1968. Grierson, Herbert J.C., ed. Metaphysical Lyrics and Poems  of the Seventeenth Century; Donne to Butler. Oxford, 1921. Herbert, George. The Works of George Herbert. ed. P.E. Hutchinson. Oxford, 1941. Johnson, Samuel. Lives of the English Poets (l779-8l). 2 v o l s . London, 1952. Jonson, Ben. Works, ed. C.H. Herford, Percy and Evelyn M. Simpson. 11 vols. Oxford, 1925-52. Kenner, Hugh, ed. Seventeenth Century Poetry: The Schools of  Donne and Jonson. New York, 1964. Lord, George deF., ed. Poems on A f f a i r s of State: Augustan  S a t i r i c a l Verse. 1660-1714. Vol.1: 1660-1678. New Haven, Conn., 1963. Marlowe, Christopher. Marlowe's Poems. ed. L.C. Martin. London, 1931. Shakespeare, William, Antony and Cleopatra, ed. M.R. Ridley. London, 1954. . Sonnets. ed. Martin Seymour-Smith. London, 1963. Sidney, S i r P h i l i p . The Poems of S i r P h i l i p Sidney, ed. William A. Ringler, J r . Oxford, 1962. Smith, G. Gregory, ed. Elizabethan C r i t i c a l Essays. 2 v o l s . Oxford, 1904. Spenser, Edmund. Spenser's Minor Poems, ed. Ernest de Selincourt. Oxford, 1910. 193 Spingam, J.E. C r i t i c a l Essays of the Seventeenth Century. 3 vols. Oxford, 1907. Walton, Izaac. The Lives of John Donne, S i r Henry Wotton. Richard Hooker, George Herbert, and Robert Sanderson (1640-78). London, 1927. Warnke, Erank J. European Metaphysical Poetry. New Haven, Conn., 1961. Williams, John, ed. English Renaissance Poetry; A Collection  of Shorter Poems from Skelton to Jonson. New York, 1963. 194 I I . Secondary Sources Adams, R.M. "Donne and E l i o t : Metaphysicals," KR, XVI (1954), 278-291. Allen, Don Cameron. Image and Meaning: Metaphoric Traditions  i n Renaissance Poetry. 2nd ed. Baltimore, 1968. Alvarez, A. The School of Donne. New York, 1961. Andreasen, N.J.C. John Donne. Conservative Revolutionary. Princeton, N.J., 1967. Bagguley, W.H., ed. Andrew Marvell 1621-1678: Tercentenary  Tributes. Oxford, 1922. Bald, R.C. Donne and the Drurys. Cambridge, ±959* . John Donne: A L i f e . Oxford, 1970. Baron, Hans. "Marvell's 'An Horatian Ode' and Machiavelli," JHI, XXI (i960), 4 5 0 - 4 5 1 . Bennett, Joan. Pive Metaphysical Poets: Donne. Herbert. Vaughan. Crashaw, Marvell. Cambridge, 1964. . "The Love Poetry of John Donne: A Reply to Mr. C.S. Lewis," i n John Purves, ed., Seventeenth-Century  Studies Presented to S i r Herbert G-rierson (Oxford. 1938). Berger, Harry, J r . "Andrew Marvell: The Poem As Green World," Forum f o r Modem Language Studies. I l l (1967), 290-309. . "Marvell's 'Appleton House': an Interpretation," Southern Review (Adelaide), I, 4 ( 1 9 6 5 ) , 7-32. . "Marvell's "Garden": S t i l l Another Interpretation," MLQ. XXVIII (1967), 285-304. . "The Renaissance Imagination: Second World and Green World," The Centennial Review. IX ( 1 9 6 5 ) , 36-78. 195 Berthoff, Ann E. The Resolved Soul: A Study of Marvell's  Ma.ior Poems. Princeton, N.J., 1970. Bethell, S.L. The Cultural Revolution of the Seventeenth  Century. London, 1951. . "The Nature of Metaphysical Wit," Northern Miscellany of Lit e r a r y C r i t i c i s m . I (l953), 19-40. Bewley, Marius. "Religious Cynicism i n Donne's Poetry," KR, XIV (1952), 619-646. Bradbrook, Muriel C. Shakespeare and Elizabethan Poetry. London, 1951. . "Marvell and the Poetry of Rural Solitude," RES. XVII (1941), 37-46. , and M.G. Lloyd Thomas. Andrew Marvell. Cambridge, 1940. Brandenburg, A l i c e S. "The Dynamic Image i n Metaphysical Poetry," PMLA, LVII (1942), 1039-45. Bredvold, Louis I. "The Naturalism of Donne i n Relation to Some Renaissance Traditions," JEGP, XXII (1923), 4 7 1 - 5 0 2 . Brooks, Cleanth. Modern Poetry and the Tradition. New York, 1965. . The Well Wrought Urn: Studies; i n ..the Structure of Poetry. New York, 1947. . "C r i t i c i s m and l i t e r a r y History: Marvell's Horatian Ode," SR, LV (l947), 199-222. The same essay i s published under the t i t l e "Literary C r i t i c i s m " i n English Institute Essays 1946 (New York, 1947), 127-158. . "A Note on the Limits of 'History' and the Limits of 'Criticism'," SR, LXI (1953), 129-135. Buckley, Vincent. Poetry and the Sacred. London, 1968. Bush, Douglas. English Literature i n the E a r l i e r Seventeenth  Century: 1600-1660. 2nd ed. Oxford, 1962. . "Marvell's Horatian Ode," SR, LX (1952), 363 - 3 7 6 . 196 Carey, John, ed. Andrew Marvell: A. C r i t i c a l Anthology. Middlesex, England, 1969. Carpenter, Margaret Ann. "Marvell's "Garden"," SEL, X (1970), 155-169. Carscallen, James. "Marvell's I n f i n i t e P a r a l l e l s , " UTQ. XXXIX (1970), 144-163. Chambers, A.B. "'I was but an Inverted Tree': Notes toward the History of an Idea," SRen VIII ( l 9 6 l ) , 291-299. Clive, Lady Mary. Jack and the Doctor. London, 1966. Coffin, Charles M. John Donne and the New Philosophy. New York, 1937. Cohen, J.M. The Baroque L y r i c . London, 1963. Colie, Rosalie L. "My. Ecchoing Song" : Andrew Marvell' s  Poetry of C r i t i c i s m . Princeton, N.J., 1970. . Paradoxia Epidemica: The Renaissance Tradition of Paradox. Princeton, N.J., 1966. Comos, Homer and Zay Sullens. A Concordance to the English  Poems of John Donne. Chicago, 1940. Coolidge, John S. "Marvell and Horace," MP, LXIII (1965), 1 1 1 - 1 2 0 . Craig, Hardin. The Enchanted Glass: The Elizabethan Mind  i n Literature. Oxford, 1950. Crease, John. "Marvell's E f f o r t l e s s Superiority," Essays  i n C r i t i c i s m . XX (l970), 403-423. Crofts, J.E.V. "John Donne: a Reconsideration," i n Helen Gardner, ed., John Donne: A Collection of C r i t i c a l Essays (Englewood C l i f f s , N.J., 1 9 6 2 7 T Cruttwell, Patrick. The Shakespearean Moment and Its Place i n the Poetry of the 17th Century. New York, I960. . 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"John Donne," The Nation and the Athenaeum. XXXIII (1923), 331-332. E l l r o d t , Robert. L'i n s p i r a t i o n personelle et 1'esprit du  temps chez l e s poetes metaphysiques anglais. 3 vols. Paris, I960. " S c i e n t i f i c Curiosity and Metaphysical Poetry i n the Seventeenth Century," MP, LXI (1964), 180-197. Empson, William. Seven Types of Ambiguity. 3rd ed. London, 1953. . Some Versions of Pastoral. London, 1935. "Donne and the Rhetorical Tradition," KR, XI (1949), 571-587. . "Donne the Spaceman," KR, XIX (1957), 337-399. Evans, Maurice. English Poetry i n the Sixteenth Century. 2nd ed. London, 1967. 198 Ford, Boris, ed. The Age of Shakespeare; Volume 2 of the  Pelican Guide to English Literature» London, 1955• . Prom Bonne to Marvell: Volume _3_ of the Pelican Guide to English Literature. London, 1956. Fowler, A l a s t a i r . Triumphal Forms: Structural Patterns i n Elizabethan Poetry. Cambridge, 1970. Freccero, John. 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Cross Currents i n English  Literature of the XVIIth Century, or. The World, the  Flesh & the S p i r i t . Their Actions and Reactions. Being  the Messenger Lectures on the Evolution of C i v i l i z a t i o n . Cornell University. 1926-27. London, 1 9 2 9 . . Grove, Robin. "Marvell," The Melbourne C r i t i c a l Review. VI (1963), 31-43. 199 Guss, Donald L. John Donne. Petrarchist: Italianate Conceits  and Love Theory i n The Songs and Sonets. Detroit, 1966. Hamilton, E.G. The Two Harmonies: Poetry and Prose i n the  Seventeenth Century. Oxford, 1 9 6 3 . Harding, D.W. Experience into Words: Essays on Poetry. London, 1963. "Coherence of Theme i n Donne's Poetry," KR, XIII (1951), 427 - 4 4 4 . Hardison, O.B.,Jr. The Enduring Monument: A Study of the Idea  of Praise i n Renaissance Li t e r a r y Theory and Practice. Chapel H i l l , N.C, 1962. Hardy, Evelyn. Donne: A S p i r i t i n C o n f l i c t . London, 1942. Harris, Victor. A l l Coherence Gone. Chicago, 1949. Hartman, Geoffrey H. "Marvell, St. Paul, and the Body of Hope," ELH, XXXI ( 1 9 6 4 ) , 175-194. Haydn, Hiram. The Counter-Renaissance. New York, 1950. Hibbard, G.R. "The Country House Poem of the Seventeenth Century," Journal of the Warburg and Courtauld Institutes, XIX (1956), 159-174. H i l l , Christopher. Puritanism and Revolution: Studies i n Interpretation of the English Revolution of the 17th  Century. London, 1958. Hollander, John. The Untuning of the Sky: Ideas of Music i n English Poetry. 1500-1700. Princeton, N.J., 1961. Holmes, Elizabeth. Aspects of Elizabethan Imagery. Oxford, 1929. Hughes, Merritt Y. "Kidnapping Donne," University of  C a l i f o r n i a Publications i n English. IV (1934), 61-89. . "Some of Donne's 'Ecstasies'," PMLA. LXXV (i960), 509-518. Hughes, Richard E. "John Donne's "Nocturnall Upon S.Lucies Day": A Suggested Resolution," Cithara IV ( 1 9 6 5 ) , 60-68. . "The Woman i n Donne's Anniversaries," ELH. XXXIV (1967), 307-326. 2 0 0 Huizinga, Johan. Homo Ludens: A Study of the Play-Element  i n Culture. Boston, 1955* Hunt, Clay. Donne's Poetry: Essays i n Li t e r a r y Analysis. New Haven, Conn., 1954. Husain, I t r a t . The Dogmatic and Mystical Theology of John  Donne. London, 1938. Hyman, Lawrence W. Andrew Marvell. New York, 1964. Ing, Catherine. Elizabethan L y r i c s : A Study i n the  Development of English Metres and th e i r Relation to  Poetic E f f e c t . London, 1951. Johnson, Carol. Reason's Double Agents. Chapel H i l l , N.C., 1966. Jonas, Leah. The Divine Science: The Aesthetic of Some  Representative Seventeenth-Century English Poets. New York, 1940. Jones, Richard P., ed. The Seventeenth Century: Studies i n the History of English Thought and Literature from Bacon  to Pope. Stanford, C a l i f . , 1951. Keast, William R., ed. Seventeenth-Century English Poetry: Modern Essays i n Cr i t i c i s m . New York, 1962. Kermode, Prank, ed. Discussions of John Donne. Boston, 1962. , ed. English Pastoral Poetry from the Beginnings to Marvell. London, 1 9 5 2 . . John Donne. London, 1 9 5 7 . , ed. The Metaphysical Poets: Key Essays on Meta-physical Poetry and on the Ma.jor Metaphysical Poets. New York, 1 9 6 9 . Romantic Image. London, 1 9 6 1 . . "The Argument of Marvell's "Garden"," Essays i n Cri t i c i s m . II ( 1 9 5 2 ) , 2 2 5 - 2 4 1 . Reprinted i n William R. Keast, ed. Seventeenth-Century English Poetry (New York, 1 9 6 2 ) . "Marvell Transprosed," Encounter. XXVII,v (November 1 9 6 6 ) , 77-84. . "Two Notes on Marvell," N&fi, CXCVII ( l 9 5 2 ) , 136-138. 201 Keynes, Geoffrey. A Bibliography of Dr. John Donne. Dean  of St. Paul 1s. Cambridge, 1 9 5 8 . King, Bruce. ""The Mower against Gardens" and the l e v e l l e r s , " HLQ. XXXIII ( 1 9 7 0 ) , 2 3 7 - 2 4 2 . Klonsky. Milton. "A Guide through the Garden," SR, LVIII ( 1 9 5 0 ) , 1 6 - 3 5 . Knights, L.C. Further Explorations. London, 1 9 6 5 . Kolve, V.A. The Play Called Corpus C h r i s t i . 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