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Andrew Marvell
1621 - 1678

A poet: one of his poems being "To His Coy Mistress," a personal favourite of mine. Born in Yorshire, Marvell attended Cambridge (Trinity College). In 1657, he became an assistant to the ailing John Milton. In 1659, Marvell took a seat Cromwell's parliament. "His republicanism was less the outcome of abstract theory than of experience." (Chamber's.) A biography of his life was written by Augustine Birrell.


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A DIALOG BETWEEN THE SOUL AND BODY


A DIALOG BETWEEN THE SOUL AND BODY
(fragmant)

SOUL
O who shall, from this dungeon, raise
A soul enslaved so many ways?
With bolts of bones, that fettered stands
In feet; and manacled in hands.
Here blinded with an eye; and there
Deaf with the drumming of an ear.
A soul hung up, as 'twere, in chains
Of neves and arteries, and veins.
Tortur'd, besides each other part,
In a vain head, and double heart.

BODY
O who shall me deliver whole,
From bonds of this tyrannic soul?
Which, stretched up right, impales me so,
That mine own precipice I go;
And warms and moves this needless frame:
(A fever could but do the same.)
And wanting where its spite to try,
Has made me live to let me die.
A body that could never rest,
Since this ill spirit is possessed.

 


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