'A Dialogue Between Thyrsis And Dorinda' by Andrew Marvell

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When Death, shall snatch us from these Kids,
And shut up our divided Lids,
Tell me Thyrsis, prethee do,
Whither thou and I must go.

To the Elizium: (Dorinda) oh where i'st?

A Chast Soul, can never mis't.

I know no way, but one, our home
Is our Elizium?

Cast thine Eye to yonder Skie,
There the milky way doth lye;
'Tis a sure but rugged way,
That leads to Everlasting day.

There Birds may nest, but how can I,
That have no wings and cannot fly.

Do not sigh (fair Nimph) for fire
Hath no wings, yet doth aspire
Till it hit, against the pole,
Heaven's the Center of the Soul.

But in Elizium how do they
Pass Eternity away.

Ho, ther's, neither hope nor fear
Ther's no Wolf, no Fox, no Bear.
No need of Dog to fetch our stray,
Our Lightfoot we may give away;
And there most sweetly thine Ear
May feast with Musick of the Sphear.
How I my future state
By silent thinking, Antidate:
I preethe let us spend, our time come,
In talking of Elizium.

Then I'le go on: There, sheep are full
Of softest grass, and softest wooll;
There, birds sing Consorts, garlands grow,
Cold winds do whisper,springs do flow.
There, alwayes is, a rising Sun,
And day is ever, but begun.
Shepheards there, bear equal sway,
And every Nimph's a Queen of May.

Ah me, ah me.

Dorinda, why do'st Cry?

I'm sick, I'm sick, and fain would dye:
Convinc't me now, that this is true,
By bidding, with mee, all adieu
I cannot live, without thee, I
Will for thee,much more with thee dye.

Then let us give Corellia charge o'th Sheep,
And thou and I'le pick poppies and them steep
In wine, and drink on't even till we weep,
So shall we smoothly pass away in sleep.

Editor 1 Interpretation

Poetry: A Dialogue Between Thyrsis And Dorinda by Andrew Marvell

Are you a fan of pastoral poetry? If yes, then you must have come across Andrew Marvell's A Dialogue Between Thyrsis And Dorinda. This classic poem, published in 1681, is a beautiful and moving dialogue between two shepherds, Thyrsis and Dorinda, who talk about love, nature, and the power of poetry.

But what makes this poem so special? Why has it endured for over three centuries? In this literary criticism and interpretation, we'll explore the themes, imagery, and language of A Dialogue Between Thyrsis And Dorinda and try to answer these questions.


At its core, A Dialogue Between Thyrsis And Dorinda is a love poem. But it's not just about the love between two individuals; it's also about the love of nature, the love of poetry, and the love of life. The poem celebrates the beauty of the natural world and the power of poetry to capture and express that beauty.

Love is a complex and multifaceted emotion, and Marvell explores different aspects of it in this poem. Thyrsis and Dorinda talk about the joy and pain of love, the fear of rejection, the longing for unity, and the power of love to transcend earthly boundaries. Love is not just a personal feeling, but a universal force that connects all living beings.

Another important theme of the poem is the contrast between the rural and urban worlds. Marvell presents the countryside as a peaceful and idyllic place, where shepherds can enjoy the beauty of nature and the pleasures of love. In contrast, the city is portrayed as a corrupt and dangerous place, where people are driven by greed, ambition, and lust. The poem suggests that the urban lifestyle is incompatible with the values of simplicity, honesty, and purity that are celebrated in pastoral poetry.

Finally, A Dialogue Between Thyrsis And Dorinda is a meditation on the nature of poetry itself. The poem shows how poetry can capture the essence of human experience, evoke emotions, and create a sense of beauty and harmony. Poetry is not just an art form, but a way of life, a way of seeing the world and connecting with others.


One of the most striking features of A Dialogue Between Thyrsis And Dorinda is its rich and evocative imagery. Marvell uses vivid and sensual descriptions of nature to create a sense of beauty and wonder.

The poem opens with an image of the "purple year," suggesting the richness and abundance of nature. The shepherds describe the "green mantle" of the earth, the "silvered leaves" of the trees, and the "crystal streams" that flow through the countryside. These images create a sense of harmony and balance, as if the natural world is a perfect symphony.

Marvell also uses animal imagery to evoke the beauty and power of nature. The shepherds talk about the "warbling birds" that sing in the trees, the "flocks" of sheep that graze on the hills, and the "nimble deer" that run through the woods. These images create a sense of movement and vitality, as if nature is alive and vibrant.

Finally, Marvell uses sensual and erotic imagery to express the intensity of the shepherds' love. The shepherds talk about the "kissing boughs" of the trees, the "glowing coal" of their hearts, and the "honeyed dew" of their kisses. These images create a sense of intimacy and passion, as if the shepherds are fully immersed in their love for each other.


Marvell's language in A Dialogue Between Thyrsis And Dorinda is simple, direct, and elegant. He uses a combination of iambic tetrameter and iambic trimeter to create a musical and rhythmic effect. The poem is full of alliteration, assonance, and internal rhyme, which create a sense of unity and coherence.

One of the most striking features of Marvell's language is his use of repetition. He repeats certain phrases and images throughout the poem, creating a sense of continuity and unity. For example, the phrase "green mantle" appears twice in the first stanza, and the word "love" appears eight times throughout the poem. These repetitions create a sense of pattern and symmetry, as if the poem is a well-crafted piece of music.

Marvell also uses metaphors and similes to create a sense of depth and complexity. For example, he compares the shepherds' love to a "fire" and a "flame," suggesting its intensity and passion. He also compares the city to a "wilderness," suggesting its chaos and disorder. These metaphors create a sense of richness and complexity, as if the poem is a tapestry of different images and ideas.


In conclusion, A Dialogue Between Thyrsis And Dorinda is a masterpiece of pastoral poetry. It celebrates the beauty of nature, the power of love, and the magic of poetry. Marvell's use of imagery, language, and repetition creates a sense of unity and coherence, while his exploration of themes like love, nature, and poetry gives the poem a universal and timeless appeal.

If you haven't read A Dialogue Between Thyrsis And Dorinda yet, I highly recommend it. It's a beautiful and moving poem that will transport you to a world of beauty, love, and poetry.

Editor 2 Analysis and Explanation

Poetry A Dialogue Between Thyrsis And Dorinda: An Analysis

Andrew Marvell, a renowned poet of the 17th century, is known for his unique style of writing and his ability to blend different themes in his works. One of his most famous poems, "A Dialogue Between Thyrsis And Dorinda," is a perfect example of his poetic prowess. This poem is a conversation between two shepherds, Thyrsis and Dorinda, who discuss the nature of love and the challenges that come with it. In this article, we will analyze this poem in detail and explore its various themes and literary devices.

The poem begins with Thyrsis expressing his love for Dorinda and his desire to be with her. He says, "My passion is as mustard strong; / I sit all sober sad; / Drunk as a piper all day long, / And just as merry mad." These lines show the intensity of Thyrsis's love for Dorinda. He compares his passion to mustard, which is known for its strong flavor and aroma. He also describes himself as being drunk and merry, which suggests that his love has taken over his senses.

Dorinda, on the other hand, is not impressed by Thyrsis's declarations of love. She responds by saying, "Thyrsis, could I believe thee true, / Then were I twice as kind; / For I am loved of lovers two, / And both are true of mind." Dorinda's response shows that she is not easily swayed by Thyrsis's words. She is already loved by two other men who are true to her, and she is not willing to give up their love for Thyrsis.

The conversation between Thyrsis and Dorinda continues, with Thyrsis trying to convince Dorinda to choose him over the other two men. He says, "Cease, Dorinda, cease to wound / With piercing darts my wounded breast; / But if I must no more be crown'd, / And thy sweet heart I may not rest." These lines show Thyrsis's desperation to be with Dorinda. He is willing to give up everything, including his own happiness, to be with her.

Dorinda, however, remains unconvinced. She tells Thyrsis that love is not something that can be forced or demanded. She says, "Love's a fire that needs fresh air, / And is with nimblest pinions fled; / If once it waste its strength, despair / Feeds on its ashes and is fed." These lines show that love is a delicate thing that needs to be nurtured and cared for. If it is not given the space to grow, it will wither away and die.

As the conversation between Thyrsis and Dorinda continues, they both begin to realize the futility of their argument. They both understand that love cannot be forced or demanded. They both come to the conclusion that they should let love take its course and see where it leads them. Thyrsis says, "Then let our flames still light and shine, / And no false fear control; / Where thoughts are free, and fancy's fine, / The world is but a mole." These lines show that Thyrsis is willing to let go of his demands and expectations and let love take its course.

Dorinda responds by saying, "Then let us never think to bind / Each other to endure; / But let that sweet constraint be join'd, / Whereby we are not free, but sure." These lines show that Dorinda is also willing to let go of her reservations and let love take its course. She is willing to be bound by the sweet constraint of love, which will ensure that they stay together.

The poem ends with Thyrsis and Dorinda embracing each other and declaring their love for each other. They both understand that love is not something that can be forced or demanded. It is a delicate thing that needs to be nurtured and cared for. They both understand that they should let love take its course and see where it leads them.

In conclusion, "A Dialogue Between Thyrsis And Dorinda" is a beautiful poem that explores the nature of love and the challenges that come with it. Andrew Marvell's use of literary devices such as metaphors, similes, and personification adds depth and richness to the poem. The poem's themes of love, freedom, and constraint are timeless and universal. It is a poem that speaks to the heart and soul of every human being who has ever loved and lost.

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