My favourite poem is by Andrew Marvell, written in 1681 and is called “To His Coy Mistress“. It is found in the Norton Anthology of Poetry, Third Edition. I came across it while doing some units in an English Literature degree. I really fell in love with this poem. I spoke to my lecturer about it and discovered it was also his favourite. For some reason I felt validated by that 🙂
I hope you enjoy it as much as I do…
Had we but world enough, and time,
This coyness lady, were no crime,
We would sit down, and think which way
To walk, and pass our long love’s day.
Thou by the Indian Ganges’ side
Shoudst rubies find; I by the tide
Of Humber would complain. I would
Love you ten years before the flood,
And you should, if you please, refuse
Till the conversion of the Jews.
My vegetable love should grow
Vaster than empires and more slow;
An hundred years should go to praise
Thine eyes, and on thy forehead gaze;
Two hundred to adore each breast,
But thirty thousand to the rest;
An age at least to every part,
And the last age should show your heart.
For lady, you deserve this state,
Nor would I love at lower rate.
But at my back I always hear
Times winged chariot hurrying near;
And yonder all before us lie
Deserts of vast eternity.
Thy beauty shall no more be found;
Nor, in thy marble vault, shall sound
My echoing song; then worms shall try
That long-preserved virginity,
And your quaint honor turned to dust,
And into ashes all my lust:
The grave’s a fine and private place,
But none, I think, do there embrace.
Now therefore, while the youthful hue
Sits on thy skin like morning glow
And while thy willing soul transpires
At every pore with instant fires,
Now let us sport us while we may,
And now like amorous birds of prey,
Rather at once our time devour
Than languish in his slow chapped power.
Let us roll all our strength and all
Our sweetness up into one ball,
And tear our pleasures with rough strife
Thorough the iron gates of life:
Thus, though we cannot make our sun
Stand still, yet we will make him run.