Andrew Marvell

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In 1673, the satirist Samuel Butler represented the poet, politician and prose controversialist Andrew Marvell thus: Being passionately in Love (you may allow him to be an Allegorical Lover at least) with old Ioan (not the Chandlers, but Mr. Calvins Widow) walks discontentedly by the side of the Lake Lemane, sighing to the Winds and calling upon the Woods; not forgetting to report his Mistresses name so often, till he teach all the Eccho’s to repeat nothing but Ioan; now entertaining himself in his Solitude, with such little Sports, as loving his Love with an I, and then loving his Love with an O, and the like for the other Letters … after he has carv’d his Mistresses Name with many Love-knots and flourishes in all the Bushes and Brambles; and interwoven those sacred Characters with many an Enigmatical Devise in Posies and Garlands of Flowers, lolling sometimes upon the Bank and sunning himself, and then on a sudden (varying his Postures with his Passion) raising himself up, and speaking all the fine things which Lovers us’d to do. His Spirits at last exhal’d with the heat of his Passion, swop, he falls asleep, and snores out the rest. Butler was attacking Marvell’s own objections to Samuel Parker’s high church ecclesiastical religious politics in his prose work The Rehearsal Transpros’d (1672), so the first part of the paragraph refers to Marvell’s association with the Calvinist nonconformists, John Owen in particular (the ‘old Ioan’ – ‘I’ ‘O’ – of the passage), and he walks alongside Lake Geneva, Geneva being the home of Jean Calvin and his version of the Reformation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationThe Cambridge Companion to English Poets
PublisherCambridge University Press
Number of pages18
ISBN (Electronic)9780511975790
ISBN (Print)9780521874342
StatePublished - Jan 1 2011

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Arts and Humanities


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