Verse > Anthologies > T. H. Ward, ed. > The English Poets > Vol. II. Ben Jonson to Dryden
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Thomas Humphry Ward, ed.  The English Poets.  1880–1918.
Vol. II. The Seventeenth Century: Ben Jonson to Dryden
 
To the Virgins
By Robert Herrick (1591–1674)
 
GATHER ye rose-buds while ye may:
  Old Time is still a-flying;
And this same flower that smiles to-day,
  To-morrow will be dying.
 
The glorious lamp of heaven, the Sun,        5
  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;        10
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,        15
  You may for ever tarry.
 
 
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