To His Noble Friend, Mr. Richard Lovelace, Upon His Poems

Our times are much degenerate from those
Which your sweet muse with your fair fortune chose,
And as complexions alter with the climes,
Our wits have drawn the infection of our times.
That candid age no other way could tell
To be ingenious, but by speaking well.
Who best could praise had then the greatest praise,
'Twas more esteemed to give than bear the bays:
Modest ambition studied only then
To honour not herself but worthy men.
These virtues now are banished out of town,
Our Civil Wars have lost the civic crown.
He highest builds, who with most art destroys,
And against others' fame his own employs.
I see the envious caterpillar sit
On the fair blossom of each growing wit.

The air's already tainted with the swarms
Of insects which against you rise in arms:
Word-peckers, paper-rats, book-scorpions,
Of wit corrupted, the unfashioned sons.
The barbèd censurers begin to look
Like the grim consistory on thy book;
And on each line cast a reforming eye,
Severer than the young presbytery.
Till when in vain they have thee all perused,
You shall, for being faultless, be accused.
Some reading your Lucasta will allege
You wronged in her the House's privelege.
Some that you under sequestration are,
And one the book prohibits, because Kent
Their first petition by the author sent.

But when the beauteous ladies came to know
That their dear Lovelace was endangered so:
Lovelace that thawed the most congealèd breast --
He who loved best and them defended best,
Whose hand so rudely grasps the steely brand,
Whose hand most gently melts the lady's hand --
They all in mutiny though yet undressed
Sallied, and would in his defence contest.
And one, the loveliest that was yet e'er seen,
Thinking that I too of the rout had been,
Mine eyes invaded with a female spite,
(She knew what pain 'twould cause to lose that sight.)
`O no, mistake not,' I replied, `for I
In your defence, or in his cause, would die.'
But he, secure of glory and of time,
Above their envy, or mine aid, doth climb.
Him valiant'st men and fairest nymphs approve;
His book in them finds judgement, with you love.

Rate this poem:(0.00 / 0 votes)

Andrew Marvell

Andrew Marvell was an English metaphysical poet, satirist and politician who sat in the House of Commons at various times between 1659 and 1678. During the Commonwealth period he was a colleague and friend of John Milton. more…

All Andrew Marvell poems | Andrew Marvell Books

FAVORITE (0 fans)


Find a translation for this poem in other languages:

Select another language:

  • - Select -
  • 简体中文 (Chinese - Simplified)
  • 繁體中文 (Chinese - Traditional)
  • Español (Spanish)
  • Esperanto (Esperanto)
  • 日本語 (Japanese)
  • Português (Portuguese)
  • Deutsch (German)
  • العربية (Arabic)
  • Français (French)
  • Русский (Russian)
  • ಕನ್ನಡ (Kannada)
  • 한국어 (Korean)
  • עברית (Hebrew)
  • Український (Ukrainian)
  • اردو (Urdu)
  • Magyar (Hungarian)
  • मानक हिन्दी (Hindi)
  • Indonesia (Indonesian)
  • Italiano (Italian)
  • தமிழ் (Tamil)
  • Türkçe (Turkish)
  • తెలుగు (Telugu)
  • ภาษาไทย (Thai)
  • Tiếng Việt (Vietnamese)
  • Čeština (Czech)
  • Polski (Polish)
  • Bahasa Indonesia (Indonesian)
  • Românește (Romanian)
  • Nederlands (Dutch)
  • Ελληνικά (Greek)
  • Latinum (Latin)
  • Svenska (Swedish)
  • Dansk (Danish)
  • Suomi (Finnish)
  • فارسی (Persian)
  • ייִדיש (Yiddish)
  • հայերեն (Armenian)
  • Norsk (Norwegian)
  • English (English)

Discuss this Andrew Marvell poem with the community:


Use the citation below to add this poem to your bibliography:


"To His Noble Friend, Mr. Richard Lovelace, Upon His Poems" STANDS4 LLC, 2020. Web. 28 Mar. 2020. <,-mr.-richard-lovelace,-upon-his-poems>.

We need you!

Help us build the largest poetry community and poems collection on the web!

Our favorite collection of

Famous Poets


Thanks for your vote! We truly appreciate your support.