Andrew Marvell
Yorkshire, England
Explore Poems GO!

A Dialogue Between The Soul And Body

Rating: 3.0
Soul
O Who shall, from this Dungeon, raise
A Soul inslav'd so many wayes?
With bolts of Bones, that fetter'd 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 Nerves, and Arteries, and Veins.
Tortur'd, besides each other part,1
In a vain Head, and double Heart.

Body
O who shall me deliver whole,
From bonds of this Tyrannic Soul?
Which, stretcht upright, 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 spight to try,
Has made me live to let me dye.
A Body that could never rest,
Since this ill Spirit it possest.

Soul
What Magic could me thus confine
Within anothers Grief to pine?
Where whatsoever it complain,
I feel, that cannot feel, the pain.
And all my Care its self employes,
That to preserve, which me destroys:
Constrain'd not only to indure
Diseases, but, whats worse, the Cure:
And ready oft the Port to gain,
Am Shipwrackt into Health again.

Body
But Physick yet could never reach
The Maladies Thou me dost teach;
Whom first the Cramp of Hope does Tear:
And then the Palsie Shakes of Fear.
The Pestilence of Love does heat :
Or Hatred's hidden Ulcer eat.
Joy's chearful Madness does perplex:
Or Sorrow's other Madness vex.
Which Knowledge forces me to know;
And Memory will not foregoe.
What but a Soul could have the wit
To build me up for Sin so fit?
So Architects do square and hew,
Green Trees that in the Forest grew.
READ THIS POEM IN OTHER LANGUAGES
COMMENTS
Shaun Cronick 08 August 2020
Marvell's poetry was quoted in the the 1946 movie A Matter Of Life And Death and another British movie called The Serpent's Kiss. So timeless indeed.
2 0 Reply
Candice Williams 27 March 2005
No poem has ever made my heart lighter-my soul happier-nor amused my mind more than this one. Andrew Marvell has captured my heart with mirth! I love reading this poem.
8 3 Reply

Delivering Poems Around The World

Poems are the property of their respective owners. All information has been reproduced here for educational and informational purposes to benefit site visitors, and is provided at no charge...

4/17/2021 9:19:36 PM # 1.0.0.559