Verse > Anthologies > Herbert J.C. Grierson, ed. > Metaphysical Lyrics & Poems of the 17th c.
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Herbert J.C. Grierson, ed. (1886–1960). Metaphysical Lyrics & Poems of the 17th C.  1921.
 
Andrew Marvell
 
62. 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         5
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.  10
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:  15
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.  20
  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;  25
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 dust; 
And into ashes all my Lust.  30
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 [dew] 
And while thy willing Soul transpires  35
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.  40
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  45
Stand still, yet we will make him run. 
 
 
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