Verse > Anthologies > Herbert J.C. Grierson, ed. > Metaphysical Lyrics & Poems of the 17th c.
Herbert J.C. Grierson, ed. (1886–1960). Metaphysical Lyrics & Poems of the 17th C.  1921.
Andrew Marvell
120. A Dialogue between the Soul and Body
Soul. O WHO shall, from this Dungeon, raise 
A Soul inslav'd so many wayes? 
With bolts of Bones, that fetter'd stands 
In Feet; and manacled in Hands. 
Here blinded with an Eye; and there         5
Deaf with the drumming of an Ear. 
A Soul hung up, as 'twere, in Chains 
Of Nerves, and Arteries, and Veins. 
Tortur'd, besides each other part, 
In a vain Head, and double Heart.  10
Body. O who shall me deliver whole, 
From bonds of this Tyrannic Soul? 
Which, stretcht upright, impales me so, 
That mine own Precipice I go; 
And warms and moves this needless Frame:  15
(A Fever could but do the same.) 
And, wanting where its spight to try, 
Has made me live to let me dye. 
A Body that could never rest, 
Since this ill Spirit it possest.  20
Soul. What Magick could me thus confine 
Within anothers Grief to pine? 
Where whatsoever it complain, 
I feel, that cannot feel, the pain. 
And all my Care its self employes,  25
That to preserve, which me destroys: 
Constrain'd not only to indure 
Diseases, but, whats worse, the Cure: 
And ready oft the Port to gain, 
Am Shipwrackt into Health again.  30
Body. But Physick yet could never reach 
The Maladies Thou me dost teach; 
Whom first the Cramp of Hope does Tear: 
And then the Palsie Shakes of Fear. 
The Pestilence of Love does heat:  35
Or Hatred's hidden Ulcer eat. 
Joy's chearful Madness does perplex: 
Or Sorrow's other Madness vex. 
Which Knowledge forces me to know; 
And Memory will not foregoe.  40
What but a Soul could have the wit 
To build me up for Sin so fit? 
So Architects do square and hew 
Green Trees that in the Forest grew. 
Click here to shop the Bartleby Bookstore.

Shakespeare · Bible · Strunk · Anatomy · Nonfiction · Quotations · Reference · Fiction · Poetry
© 1993–2015 · [Top 150] · Subjects · Titles · Authors