Looking forward to another overblown, over-hyped, commercial exercise in flogging more tat? Aw, don’t be so cynical… maybe that’s the only way that some people can express themselves! If you do want something a bit more heartfelt than an Asda valentine’s card roughly the size of wee Jimmy Krankie here’s one of the most romantic and sensual poems ever written: To his Coy Mistress by Andrew Marvell. Many think that it’s about wanting to desperately get into someone’s pants, which it is, albeit expressed very eloquently. However, I think it’s also about getting on with it generally and grabbing your chances when you can. So whether it’s in matters of romance or other things – go for it! We tend to regret the things we don’t do rather than the things we do (maybe apart from having those six extra Jagerbombs…). Anyway, here it is:
To his Coy Mistress by Andrew Marvell
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
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.
Now therefore, while the youthful hue
Sits on thy skin like morning dew,
And while thy willing soul transpires
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-chapp’d power.
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
Stand still, yet we will make him run.