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Sir George Etherege

(1635-1691 / England)

To a Lady asking him how long he would love her


IT is not, Celia, in our power
   To say how long our love will last;
It may be we within this hour
   May lose those joys we now do taste;
The Blessed, that immortal be,
From change in love are only free.

Then since we mortal lovers are,
   Ask not how long our love will last;
But while it does, let us take care
   Each minute be with pleasure past:
Were it not madness to deny
To live because we're sure to die?

Submitted: Saturday, January 04, 2003

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Comments about this poem (To a Lady asking him how long he would love her by Sir George Etherege )

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  • Juan De Dios Torralbo (4/21/2008 4:07:00 AM)

    Is this poem related to libertinism?
    I gather there is an intrinsic thematic link among Rochester, Aphra, Etherege, Dorset in terms of hedonism, individualism that can be related to 'To his Coy Mistress'.
    I underline these meaningful lines conveying the topic of 'carpe diem':
    - But while it does, let us take care
    - Each minute be with pleasure past:
    Maybe, there is a link between this topic and Hobbes (as Bernd Dietz infers in his book on Rochester (1989: 45) : The present onely has a being in Nature; things Past have a being in the Memory onely, but things to come have no being at all; the Future being but a fiction of the mind, applying the sequels of actions Past, to the actions that are present; which with most certainly is done by him that has most Experience; but not with certainty enough. (Report) Reply

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