“To the Virgins, to Make Much of Time” by Robert Herrick – or – “Gather ye’ rosebuds”

Even in poetry, do I find inspiration. Case in point: the poem, To the Virgins, to Make Much of Time, was a 17th century work by English poet Robert Herrick which has had the power to gently urge me to write now, before my own words fade. From this poem we understand Herrick’s belief that life is very short, that the world is beautiful and love is splendid. Above all else, we must use the very short time that we are here to make the most of that life, leaving negative tendencies by the wayside and not to rely on fate to dictate the terms of life to us.

The older I get, the more I feel the same. Negativity has been banished from my vocabulary, for the most part, as has the word ‘can’t’. Even though I must live in this world with eyes wide open, seeing the harshness of reality, fortunately I’m able to dream…and write. I can think of no better inspirational quote than that by Tom Schulman, the screenwriter: “But only in their dreams can men be truly free. ‘Twas always thus, and always thus will be.”

carpe-diem

    ~ To the Virgins, 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 forever tarry.

Writing is my way of ‘gathering rosebuds’, I suppose, even if the tendency is to go cautiously – so cautiously, sometimes, that I cease to make the effort. I may not be the virginal maiden to whom he speaks, but Herrick’s poem is certainly an inspiration for me to make much more of my time.

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