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Reading: On a Crux in “Bill-Borrow”


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On a Crux in “Bill-Borrow”


Ian Parker


This article provides evidence that in Marvell’s Upon the Hill and Grove at Bill-Borrow, the lines “Upon its crest this Mountain grave / A Plum of aged Trees does wave” in the Miscellaneous Poems of 1681 should read “Plume of aged Trees,” as Marvell’s 1726 editor Thomas Cooke proposed, not “Plump of aged Trees,” as H. M. Margoliouth conjectured in his 1927 edition. The evidence relates to the meaning of the passage; “mechanical” and contextual considerations: Marvell’s use elsewhere of significant terms in the stanza; and resonances of the passage with likely the single most important—but previously unidentified—source of stanzas V to X of the poem, Edward Fairfax’s translation of Tasso’s Gerusalemme Liberata. The article also notes other Marvell poems that draw on Fairfax’s Tasso and some implications of the intertextual links.
How to Cite: Parker, I., (2016). On a Crux in “Bill-Borrow” . Marvell Studies . 1 ( 1 ) , pp . 31–45 . DOI:
Published on 20 Mar 2016.
Peer Reviewed


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