TO THE VIRGINS, TO MAKE MUCH OF TIME
by Robert Herrick
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.
This poem played a role in Dead Poets Society when Robin Williams used it to inspire his students, thus...
"They're not that different from you, are they? Same haircuts. Full of hormones, just like you. Invincible, just like you feel. The world is their oyster.
They believe they're destined for great things, just like many of you, their eyes are full of hope, just like you.
Did they wait until it was too late to make from their lives even one iota of what they were capable?
Because, you see gentlemen, these boys are now fertilizing daffodils.
But if you listen real close, you can hear them whisper their legacy to you.
Go on, lean in. Listen, you hear it?
Carpe ... hear it?
Carpe ... carpe diem, seize the day boys, make your lives extraordinary. "