To the Virgins, to Make Much of Time (Gather ye rosebuds): Text of the Poem
Gather ye rosebuds 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,
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.
ANALYSIS OF POEM “TO THE VIRGINS, (TO MAKE MUCH OF TIME)” BY ROBERT HERRICK
From the title, we can tell that the speaker is addressing this poem to a group of virgins. He's telling them that they should gather their "rosebuds" while they can, because time is quickly passing. He drives home this point with some images from nature, including flowers dying and the sun setting. He thinks that one's youth is the best time in life, and the years after that aren't so great. The speaker finishes off the poem by encouraging these young virgins to make good use of their time by getting married, before they're past their prime and lose the chance.
"To the Virgins" alternates between two different types of meter. It has an alternating Iambic Tetrameter and Iambic Trimeter with Catalexis in which the odd-numbered lines (1, 3, 5, etc.) are all in iambic tetrameter. That means there are four ("tetra") iambs per line. The even-numbered lines (2, 4, 6, etc.) are all in iambic trimeter with catalexis. That means there are three ("tri") iambs plus one extra syllable. There are variations on these meters. Not all the lines fit perfectly. For example, the first foot (i.e., beat) of the first line is not an iamb (da-DUM) but rather a trochee (DUM-da, a reverse iamb), and the rest of the line consists of three iambs.
The poem has a simple rhyme scheme of ABAB i.e. the last...