by Andrew Marvell (1621 - 1678)

The garden
Language: English 
How vainly men themselves amaze
To win the palm, the oak, the bays,
And their incessant labours see
Crowned from single herb or tree,
Whose short and narrow-verged shade
Does prudently their toils upbraid;
While all flowers and all trees do close
To weave the garlands of repose.
Fair quiet have I found thee here
And innocence thy sister dear?
Mistaken long, I sought you then
In busy companies of men;
Your sacred plants, if here below,
Only among the plants will grow:
Society is all but rude
To this delicious solitude.
What wondrous life is this I lead!
Ripe apples fall about my head:
The luscious clusters of the vine
Upon my mouth do crush their wine.
The nectarine and curious peach
Into my hands themselves do reach;
Stumbling on melons as I pass,
Ensnared with flowers, I fall on grass.
Meanwhile the mind from pleasure less
Withdraws into its happiness;
The mind, that ocean where each kind
Doth straight its own resemblance find;
Yet it creates, transcending these,
Far other worlds, and other seas;
Annihilating all that’s made
To a green thought in a green shade.


Musical settings (art songs, Lieder, mélodies, (etc.), choral pieces, and other vocal works set to this text), listed by composer (not necessarily exhaustive)

Researcher for this text: Mike Pearson

This text was added to the website: 2015-02-17
Line count: 32
Word count: 188