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Robert Herrick  (1591-1674)

Counsel To Girls  (To Virgins, To Make Much of Time)

Gather ye rose-buds while ye may,
   Old time is still a-flying:
And this same flower that smiles to-day,
   Tomorrow 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.

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revised 24 November 2005
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