A Dialogue between Thyrsis and Dorinda

By Andrew Marvell 1621–1678 Andrew Marvell
DORINDA
When death shall part us from these kids,
And shut up our divided lids,
Tell me, Thyrsis, prithee do,
Whither thou and I must go.

THYRSIS
To the Elysium.

DORINDA
                        Oh, where is’t?

THYRSIS
A chaste soul can never miss’t.

DORINDA
I know no way but to our home,
Is our cell Elysium?

THYRSIS
Turn thine eye to yonder sky,
There the milky way doth lie;
’Tis a sure but rugged way,
That leads to everlasting day.

DORINDA
There birds may nest, but how can I
That have no wings and cannot fly?

THYRSIS
Do not sigh, fair nymph, for fire
Hath no wings yet doth aspire
Till it hit against the Pole:
Heaven’s the centre of the soul.

DORINDA
But in Elysium how do they
Pass eternity away?

THYRSIS
Oh, there’s neither hope nor fear,
There’s no wolf, no fox, no bear.
No need of dog to fetch our stray,
Our Lightfoot we may give away;
No oat-pipe’s needful; there thy ears
May sleep with music of the spheres.

DORINDA
Oh sweet! Oh sweet! How I my future state
By silent thinking antedate:
I prithee let us spend our time to come
In talking of Elysium.

THYRSIS
Then I’ll go on. There sheep are full
Of sweetest grass and softest wool;
There birds sing consorts, garlands grow,
Cool winds do whisper, springs do flow.
There always is a rising sun,
And day is ever but begun.
Shepherds there bear equal sway,
And every nymph’s a Queen of May.

DORINDA
Ah me, ah me!


THYRSIS
                        Dorinda, why dost cry?

DORINDA
I’m sick, I’m sick, and fain would die.
Convince me now that this is true
By bidding with me all adieu.

THYRSIS
I cannot live without thee, I,
I’ll for thee, much more with thee, die.

CHORUS
Then let us give Corillo charge o’ the sheep,
And thou and I’ll pick poppies, and them steep
In wine, and drink on’t even till we weep,
So shall we smoothly pass away in sleep.

Source: Complete Poems (1996)

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Poet Andrew Marvell 1621–1678

POET’S REGION England

SCHOOL / PERIOD 17th Century

Subjects Relationships, Nature, Landscapes & Pastorals, Love, Living, Death, Mythology & Folklore, Romantic Love, Infatuation & Crushes, Heartache & Loss, Realistic & Complicated

Poetic Terms Pastoral, Couplet

 Andrew  Marvell

Biography

In an era that makes a better claim than most upon the familiar term transitional, Andrew Marvell is surely the single most compelling embodiment of the change that came over English society and letters in the course of the seventeenth century. Author of a varied array of exquisite lyrics that blend Cavalier grace with Metaphysical wit and complexity, Marvell turned, first, into a panegyrist for the Lord Protector and his regime . . .

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Relationships, Nature, Landscapes & Pastorals, Love, Living, Death, Mythology & Folklore, Romantic Love, Infatuation & Crushes, Heartache & Loss, Realistic & Complicated

POET’S REGION England

SCHOOL / PERIOD 17th Century

Poetic Terms Pastoral, Couplet

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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