To the Virgins, to Make Much of Time
Gather ye rosebuds while ye may,
Old Time is still a-flying;
And this same flower that smiles today
Tomorrow will be dying.
The glorious lamp of heaven, the sun,
The higher he’s a-getting,
The sooner will his race be run,
And nearer he’s to setting.
That age is best which is the first,
When youth and blood are warmer;
But being spent, the worse, and worst
Times still succeed the former.
Then be not coy, but use your time,
And while ye may, go marry;
For having lost but once your prime,
You may forever tarry.
“To the Virgins, to Make Much of Time” is a poem written by Robert Herrick in the 17th century. The poem is in the genre of carpe diem, Latin for seize the day.
Robert Herrick (baptized 24 August 1591 – buried 15 October 1674), was a 17th-century English poet. Educated at Cambridge and later ordained, he became known as a poet in the 1620’s.
He wrote classically influenced lyrics whose appeal is in their freshness and their perfection of form and style.
The only book he published was Hesperides (1648), containing 1,400 poems, mostly short, many of them epigrams.