To the Virgins, to Make Much of Time Essay

Robert Herrick
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In the following essay excerpt, Rollin analyzes "To the Virgins, to Make Much of Time" to determine Herrick's poetic intent.

While it is only Herrick's "Corinna's Going AMaying" that can appropriately be compared with Marvell's "To His Coy Mistress," it is the older poet's "To the Virgins, to make much of Time" that has fixed the concept of carpe diem in the popular imagination forever. Scholarly investigation has revealed that Herrick is heavily indebted to a variety of sources—some classical, some English—in this poem, but his synthesizing is so artful that the lyric's derivativeness is hardly noticeable. Not in the least pedantic, this poem has been so popular that its opening line has become proverbial:

1. Gather ye Rose-buds while ye may,
Old Time is still a flying:
And this same flower that smiles today,
To morrow will be dying.


The admonition of the title and the...

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This section contains 629 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the To the Virgins, to Make Much of Time Study Guide
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Poetry for Students
To the Virgins, to Make Much of Time from Poetry for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.