David Norbrook is principally concerned to illustrate how Andrew Marvell manipulates the generic and rhetorical expectations raised by the classical precedents of An Horatian Ode in order to demonstrate the emergence of a new cultural dynamic: a Republican sublime. Matching detailed literary analysis with extensive cultural contextualisation, Norbrook's essay is a powerful illustration of recent Marvell criticism's alertness to how issues of genre, rhetoric, politics and history are inseparable within the poetry, and how readers need to be careful of their own ideological dispositions colouring their readings. Challenging the view that the best literature is somehow politically disengaged or 'balanced', this chapter raises questions about current readers' responses to Marvell's particular politics, especially over issues such as England's relation with Ireland. The poem has often been applauded for avoiding political partisanship, for maintaining an equal balance between Charles and Oliver Cromwell, between the arts of peace and war, between feudal and bourgeois orders.