To His Coy Mistress by Andrew Marvell

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"To His Coy Mistress" by Andrew Marvell
· Early 1600's
· Concerned with what makes us human and what sets us aside from other animals
· Usually focus on "love" and "relationship with God"
· Poems structured as arguments
· Wit, irony, wordplay, often comic with serious topic underneath
· An extended metaphor with a complex logic that governs an entire poem or poetic passage
To His Coy Mistress is one of many "seduction poems".
The message is simple: the coyness of his mistress appeals to him, but life is too short to play
games, so it's time to get serious.
To His Coy Mistress ­ The Argument
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 love's day;
Thou by the Indian Ganges' side
Shouldst 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 than 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 always hear
Time's winged chariot hurrying near;
And yonder all before us lie
Deserts of vast eternity.
Thy beauty shall no more be found,
Nor, in thy marble vault, shall sound
My echoing song; then worms shall try
Sherifa Issifu 11.5

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To His Coy Mistress" by Andrew Marvell
That long preserv'd virginity,
And your quaint honour turn to dust,
And into ashes all my lust.
The grave's a fine and private place,
But none I think do there embrace.…read more

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To His Coy Mistress" by Andrew Marvell
Helios- Ancient god of the sun; drove his chariot across the sky each day, to mark the beginning and
end of a day, sunrise and sunset.
To His Coy Mistress is not just a poem of seduction; the underlying message is that we should
live, our lives. We should live our lives in the present and live with no regrets, quite literally
seize the day.
"The clock is running. Make the most of today.…read more


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