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Ekphrasis and mortality in Andrew Marvell
Keith McDonald

enemies’ eyes. Lovely and admirable as he was, Yet was his sword or armour all his glass. Nor in his mistress’ eyes that joy he took, As in an enemy’s himself to look. (‘An Elegy Upon the Death of My Lord Francis Villiers’, 51–4) The celebration of Villiers’ military acumen towards the end of the poem is preceded by this reflection on his almost charming vanity, which is playfully suggested as the route of his downfall.21 Marvell may have borrowed here from ‘Narcissus, or the Self-Lover’ by James Shirley, who, alongside Thomas Stanley, a possible patron of Marvell’s at

in Ekphrastic encounters