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Andrew Marvell

(31 March 1621 – 16 August 1678 / Yorkshire, England)

A Dialogue, Between the Resolved Soul, And Created Pleasure


Courage my Soul, now learn to wield
The weight of thine immortal Shield.
Close on thy Head thy Helmet bright.
Ballance thy Sword against the Fight.
See where an Army, strong as fair,
With silken Banners spreads the air.
Now, if thou bee'st that thing Divine,
In this day's Combat let it shine:
And shew that Nature wants an Art
To conquer one resolved Heart.

Pleasure
Welcome the Creations Guest,
Lord of Earth, and Heavens Heir.
Lay aside that Warlike Crest,
And of Nature's banquet share:
Where the Souls of fruits and flow'rs
Stand prepar'd to heighten yours.

Soul
I sup above, and cannot stay
To bait so long upon the way.

Pleasure
On these downy Pillows lye,
Whose soft Plumes will thither fly:
On these Roses strow'd so plain
Lest one Leaf thy Side should strain.

Soul
My gentler Rest is on a Thought,
Conscious of doing what I ought.

Pleasure
If thou bee'st with Perfumes pleas'd,
Such as oft the Gods appeas'd,
Thou in fragrant Clouds shalt show
Like another God below.

Soul
A Soul that knowes not to presume
Is Heaven's and its own perfume.

Pleasure
Every thing does seem to vie
Which should first attract thine Eye:
But since none deserves that grace,
In this Crystal view thy face.

Soul
When the Creator's skill is priz'd,
The rest is all but Earth disguis'd.

Pleasure
Heark how Musick then prepares
For thy Stay these charming Aires ;
Which the posting Winds recall,
And suspend the Rivers Fall.

Soul
Had I but any time to lose,
On this I would it all dispose.
Cease Tempter. None can chain a mind
Whom this sweet Chordage cannot bind.

Chorus
Earth cannot shew so brave a Sight
As when a single Soul does fence
The Batteries of alluring Sense,
And Heaven views it with delight.
Then persevere: for still new Charges sound:
And if thou overcom'st thou shalt be crown'd.

Pleasure
All this fair, and cost, and sweet,
Which scatteringly doth shine,
Shall within one Beauty meet,
And she be only thine.

Soul
If things of Sight such Heavens be,
What Heavens are those we cannot see?

Pleasure
Where so e're thy Foot shall go
The minted Gold shall lie;
Till thou purchase all below,
And want new Worlds to buy.

Soul
Wer't not a price who 'ld value Gold?
And that's worth nought that can be sold.

Pleasure
Wilt thou all the Glory have
That War or Peace commend?
Half the World shall be thy Slave
The other half thy Friend.

Soul
What Friends, if to my self untrue?
What Slaves, unless I captive you?

Pleasure
Thou shalt know each hidden Cause;
And see the future Time:
Try what depth the Centre draws;
And then to Heaven climb.

Soul
None thither mounts by the degree
Of Knowledge, but Humility.

Chorus
Triumph, triumph, victorious Soul;
The World has not one Pleasure more:
The rest does lie beyond the pole,
And is thine everlasting Store.

Submitted: Tuesday, December 31, 2002

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