Saturday, March 2, 2013

Marvell - Poetry

For the complete posts on Poetry, please click the tag at the bottom of the post.

Our next poem is by Andrew Marvell and was written in the seventeenth century.  Its title is 'To His Coy Mistress'.

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
Should 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;
To 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
Time's winged chariot hurrying near;
And yonder all before us lie
Deserts of vast eternity.
They beauty shall no more be found,
Nor; in they marble vault, shall sound
My echoing song; then worms shall try
That long preserv'd virginity,
And your quaint honor turn 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 they skin like monring glow,
And while they willing soul transpires
At every pore with instant fires,
Now let us sport us while we may,
And no like amorous birds of prey,
Rather at once our  time devour
Than languish in his slow-chapped power.
Let us roll all our strengh and all
Our sweetness up ino one ball,
And tear our pleasures with rough strife
Through the iron gates of life:
Tus, though we cannot make our sun
Stand still, yet we will make him run.

What a lovely poem!  I absolutely love this.  In the first stanza, our poet says, that if he but 'world enough and time' then he could be as patient as possible.  He explains that his patience would last for entire historical ages.  He'd even take a full two hundred years of concentration on each breast!
But, he says, we're mortal and we don't have that much time.  Would you rather make love with me or wait until you're deflowered by worms in your tomb?  That will be private but not as nice.  So quick, embrace life and lets get to it!
I wonder if Andrew Marvell had a lot of luck with this poem?  I hope so.

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