Andrew Marvell

(31 March 1621 – 16 August 1678 / Yorkshire, England)

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 Loves Day.
Thou by the Indian Ganges side.
Should'st 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 then 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 alwaies hear
Times winged Charriot hurrying near:
And yonder all before us lye
Desarts of vast Eternity.
Thy Beauty shall no more be found;
Nor, in thy marble Vault, shall sound
My ecchoing Song: then Worms shall try
That long preserv'd Virginity:
And your quaint Honour turn to durst;
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 hew
Sits on thy skin like morning glew,
And while thy willing Soul transpires
At every pore with instant Fires,
Now let us sport us while we may;
And now, like am'rous birds of prey,
Rather at once our Time devour,
Than languish in his slow-chapt pow'r.
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.

Submitted: Tuesday, December 31, 2002

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Comments about this poem (To His Coy Mistress by Andrew Marvell )

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  • John Harper (1/28/2014 2:17:00 AM)

    It is the most elegant snow job in the English language. It makes all of rock n roll wear pink! (Report) Reply

  • Chizryan Ogunkah (8/27/2011 4:48:00 PM)

    this poem acts as a reminder to women on how time is not their best company, even before the grave, they may lose the ''virtues'' mostly appreciated. (Report) Reply

  • Juniper March (10/7/2009 4:08:00 PM)

    This is fabulous, it transported me
    to a magical place
    and it is so right,
    now! not in the grave! (Report) Reply

  • Rahul G (12/20/2008 2:28:00 PM)

    he should be andrew marvellous! this peice of poem is really enchanting. no wonder what happened after he must have presented this poem to his mistress'es (Report) Reply

  • Denzel D (6/19/2007 10:07:00 AM)

    Im guessing he was an all time player of his time, i believe this is what it took to seduce the hell out of a girl, lol (Report) Reply

  • Rick Lee (6/9/2005 9:19:00 PM)

    I love this poem very much, especially the first part. Wild imagination, unlimited scope and time, from the side of Ganges to the tide of Humber, from the Flood to the Conversion of Jews. Travels freely beyond the power of mortals. Seems containing some romantic elements. (Report) Reply

  • Merrelley Gillie (5/7/2005 4:38:00 PM)

    This is one of my favourite poems. He loves her and time is going fast while all ahead are deserts of vast eternity. Her dewy skin is still young - one day she will die. It's actually a mixture of love and death, an awsome poem.

    Merrelley (Report) Reply

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