To Virgins, to Make Much of Time
by ROBERT HERRICK (1591-1674)
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.
In 1629, Robert Herrick was named to the vicarage of Dean Prior in Devonshire, serving as Vicar for 19 years, living on a stipend of 50 pounds. He had a housekeeper named Prudence Baldwin, a spaniel named Tracy, and a sparrow named Phil. According to tradition, he also had a pig which he taught to drink from a silver tankard.