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Andrew Marvell

1621-1678. English poet. Born near Hull and educated at Cambridge, he traveled on the Continent and acted as tutor to the daughter of Lord Fairfax at Nunappleton House, which provided the subject for a poem and may also have inspired “The Garden.” He was subsequently assistant Latin secretary to Milton under Cromwell and after the Restoration was member of Parliament for Hull. In this latter period he wrote much controversial prose and satiric verse, most of it now forgotten. His poems were not published until 1681. His fame rests on a slender but nonetheless firm base. “To His Coy Mistress” is a fine love-poem in the carpe diem witty manner, and “The Coronet” is a subtle, Metaphysical exploration of the sin that inevitably mars man's noblest efforts at worship. It is “The Garden,” however, that marks his supreme achievement with its quasi-mystical treatment of the retirement theme, the mind rediscovering Paradise in its own creative self- sufficiency.