- To the Virgins, to Make Much of Time
"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, to "seize the day".
First published in 1648 in a volume of verse entitled Hesperides, “To the Virgins, to Make Much of Time” is perhaps one of the most famous poems to extol the notion of carpe diem. Carpe diem, or “seize the day,” expresses a philosophy that recognizes the brevity of life and therefore the need to live for and in the moment. Seizing the day means eating, drinking and making merry for tomorrow we shall all die. The phrase was used by classicists such as Horace, and its spirit marks the theme of Herrick’s lyric poem. Echoing Ben Jonson’s poem, “Song: To Celia,” the speaker of the poem underscores the ephemeral quality of life and urges those in their youth to actively celebrate life and its pleasures; however, the speaker does not urge “the virgins” simply to frolic adulterously, but to seek union in matrimony, thereby uniting the natural cycles of life and death with the rites and ceremonies of Christian worship. Although a very common theme in sixteenth- and seventeenth-century verse, and particularly in Cavalier poetry, the association of Christianity and carpe diem is not a traditional one; it is unique to Herrick and perhaps “natural” given Herrick’s thirty-two year career as vicar of Dean Prior, an appointment originally bestowed by King Charles I. Written during a period of great political unrest that culminated in Britain’s Civil War, the theme and the sage advice proffered by the speaker of the poem appears appropriate in this particularly transient period. The carpe diem spirit, however, has translated to modern times and is the theme of Henry James’s The Ambassadors and Robert Frost’s “Carpe Diem.”
"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: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 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 for ever tarry.
Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.
Look at other dictionaries:
The Syro-Aramaic Reading of the Koran — … Wikipedia
The Celtic Rite — The Celtic Rite † Catholic Encyclopedia ► The Celtic Rite This subject will be treated under the following seven heads: I. History and Origin; II. Manuscript Sources; III. The Divine Office; IV. The Mass; V. the Baptismal Service; … Catholic encyclopedia
The Blessed Virgin Mary — The Blessed Virgin Mary † Catholic Encyclopedia ► The Blessed Virgin Mary The Blessed Virgin Mary is the mother of Jesus Christ, the mother of God. In general, the theology and history of Mary the Mother of God follow the… … Catholic encyclopedia
The Theatre — The Theatre † Catholic Encyclopedia ► The Theatre Considering the tone of what is preserved to us of the works of the Greek tragedians and even of the comedies of Plautus and Terence, it seems at first difficult to understand the… … Catholic encyclopedia
The Festival of Dionysus (Hercules episode) — Infobox Television episode Title= The Festival of Dionysus Series= Caption= Season=1 Episode=104 Airdate=February 6, 1995 Production=76609 Writer=Andrew Dettman Daniel Truly Director=Peter Ellis Guests=Norman Forsey (Tiresias) Ilona Rodgers… … Wikipedia
The Beatles' break-up — History of The Beatles The Quarrymen In Hamburg … Wikipedia
The Wicker Man (1973 film) — Infobox Film name = The Wicker Man writer = Anthony Shaffer starring = Edward Woodward Christopher Lee Diane Cilento Ingrid Pitt Britt Ekland director = Robin Hardy producer = Peter Snell cinematography = Harry Waxman music = Paul Giovanni… … Wikipedia
The Colourfield — Origin UK Genres Alternative, New Wave, rock Years active 1984–1987 Labels Chrysalis … Wikipedia
The Ronnie Johns Half Hour — Format Sketch comedy Created by The 3rd Degree Starring Heath Franklin Jordan Raskopoulos Dan Ilic Felicity Ward James Pender Caz Fitzgerald Becci Gage … Wikipedia
The Smiling, Proud Wanderer — (zh tsp|t=笑傲江湖|s=笑傲江湖|p=xiào ào jiāng hú) is a 1967 Chinese language wuxia novel written by Louis Cha, who was better known as Jinyong.The term Xiao Ao Jiang Hu (笑傲江湖) means to live a carefree life in a mundane world of strife. An alternative… … Wikipedia