To the Virgins, to Make Much of Time
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Gather ye Rose-buds while ye may,
Old Time is still a-flying:
And this same flower that smiles to day,
To morrow will be dying.
The glorious Lamp of Heaven, the Sun,
The higher he's a getting;
The sooner will his Race be run,
And neerer 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.
Theme: carpe diemEdit
First published in 1648 as number 208 in a volume of verse entitled Hesperides, it is perhaps one of the more famous poems to extol the notion of carpe diem, a philosophy that recognizes the brevity of life and, therefore, the need to live for and in the moment. The phrase originates in Horace's Ode 1.11.
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