Thursday, June 30, 2011
No Hostile Hand
V.38, 41: the master is Lord Fairfax, i.e. Thomas Fairfax, 3rd Lord Fairfax of Cameron (1612-1671).
Upon its crest this Mountain grave
A Plump of aged Trees does wave.
No hostile hand durst ere invade 35
With impious Steel the sacred Shade.
For something alwaies did appear
Of the Great Masters terrour there:
And Men could hear his Armour still
Ratling through all the Grove and Hill. 40
Fear of the Master, and respect
Of the great Nymph did it protect;
Vera the Nymph that him inspir'd,
To whom he often here retir'd,
And on these Okes ingrav'd her Name; 45
Such wounds alone these Woods became:
But ere he well the Barks could part
'Twas writ already in their Heart.
43: Vera stands for Anne de Vere, whom Fairfax married.
Text in The Poems & Letters of Andrew Marvell, ed. H.M. Margoliouth, Vol. I (Poems) (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1927), pp. 56-58 (these stanzas on p. 57); discussion in A.J.N. Wilson, "Andrew Marvell: Upon the Hill and Grove at Bill-Borow and Musicks Empire," Bulletin of the John Rylands Library 51 (1969) 453-482.
Thanks very much to the generous patron who gave me Marvell's Poems & Letters, together with many other valuable books.