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By Andrew Marvell

To make a final conquest of all me,

Love did compose so sweet an enemy,

In whom both beauties to my death agree,

Joining themselves in fatal harmony;

That while she with her eyes my heart does bind,

She with her voice might captivate my mind.


I could have fled from one but singly fair,

My disentangled soul itself might save,

Breaking the curled trammels of her hair.

But how should I avoid to be her slave,

Whose subtle art invisibly can wreath

My fetters of the very air I breathe?


It had been easy fighting in some plain,

Where victory might hang in equal choice,

But all resistance against her is vain,

Who has th’advantage both of eyes and voice,

And all my forces needs must be undone,

She having gained both the wind and sun.


Poet Bio

Andrew Marvell's wit and humor make this English metaphysical poet’s work memorable. He also wrote in the pastoral style of the classical Roman authors. Marvell was a talented statesman and worked as an assistant to John Milton when Milton was Oliver Cromwell’s Latin secretary for foreign affairs.

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