Andrew Marvell is one of the greatest singers of love in the English school of poetry. He understood the vulnerabilities and frustrations of love, he described perfectly the hopeless quests, love ‘begotten by Despair upon Impossibility’, the ‘pestillence of love’. With Marvell one dies for love – metaphorically, of course. And sometimes the outcome is suddenly simple and satisfactory:
Then let’s both lay by our Rope,
And go kiss within the Hay.
Perhaps it was because he never intended to publish his poetry that it is so personal. He was MP for Hull and in his lifetime far better known for his political writing. This selection of his work reflects both sides: with the love poetry there are also the works addressed to Thomas Fairfax and Oliver Cromwell.