"To Coy His Mistress" Poetry Explication

Essay by fishiekissie06High School, 12th gradeA+, March 2006

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Had we but world enough, and time, (if we were to live forever I'd seduce you)

This coyness, lady, were no crime. (Ln 1-2 interruption, comfortable with slowness of time)

We would sit down, and think which way

To walk, and pass our long love's day.

Thou by the Indian Ganges' side (formal and refers to human geography to flatter)

Shouldst rubies find: I by the tide

Of Humber would complain I would

Love you ten years before the flood, (referring to the bible; aim is to flatter)

And you should, if you please, refuse

Till the conversion of the Jews;

My vegatable love should grow (slow and unconscious)

Vaster than empires and more slow;

An hundred years should go to praise (objective is to flatter)

Thine eyes, and on thy forehead gaze;

Two hundred to adore each breast,

But thirty thousand to the rest; (line includes imagery)

An age at least to every part,

And the last age should show your heart.

For, lady, you deserve this state; (since she's mortal she can't have it)

Nor would I love at lower rate.

But at my back I always hear

Time's winged chariot hurying near; (unreal)

And yonder all before us lie

Deserts of vast eternity. (aims to appeal in readers emotion rather than intellect; revealing)

Thy beauty shall no more be found,

Nor in thy marble vault shall sound

My echoing song; then worms shall try

That long preserved virginity;

And you quaint honor turn to dust,

And into ashes all my lust:

Thy grave's a find and private place,

But none, I think, do there embrace.

Now therefore, while the youthful hue (clears up argument; compares human to nature)

Sits on thy skin like morning dew, (playful, ornamental, sweetness, flaring passion)

And while thy willing soul transpires...