Miscellaneous Poems
Miscellaneous Poems

MARVELL, Andrew. Miscellaneous Poems.

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MARVELL, Andrew. Miscellaneous Poems. London: Printed for Robert Boulter at the Turks-Head, 1681.

Folio. Contemporary blindstamped panelled sheep, recently rebacked by Bernard Middleton, spine with leather label lettered in gilt; pp. Engraved portrait frontispiece, [iv] 1-116, 131-139. Some scuffing to boards, rubbing to edges and corners, a few small old worm holes in lower gutters, some paper repairs by Bernard Middleton, a little light browning and a few occasional light spots, otherwise a very good copy, preserved in custom made fleece-lined cloth box lettered in gilt on spine and upper board.
First edition, without the Cromwellian verses as usual (pp.117-130).
One of the great collections of English poetry. Miscellaneous Poems was sent to the press by 'Mary Marvell' (Mary Palmer, Marvell's housekeeper) who claimed that she was Marvell's widow. The volume 'includes religio-philosophical dialogues; verses on the pleasures (both sensuous and spiritual) of the retired life in pastoral surroundings; poems that depict innocence on the verge of sexual maturity; love lyrics, from the classic persuasion of 'To his Coy Mistress' to the dark complaint of 'The Unfortunate Lover'; and some Latin epigrams and epitaphs. Almost the only public response to such late-appearing metaphysical poems is Wood's grudging statement that the volume was 'cried up as excellent' by those of the author's own persuasion (Wood, Ath. Oxon., 4.232)' (W. H. Kelliher in ODNB).
In all but two known copies, (Dobell-Thorn Drury- British Library and Huntington) three long poems in praise of Cromwell are suppressed by the cancellation of 13 leaves.