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Corinna's Going A-Maying

Corinna's Going A-Maying

by Robert Herrick

Time Quotes

How we cite our quotes:

Quote #1

Each flower has wept and bow'd toward the east
Above an hour since: yet you not dress'd;
    Nay! not so much as out of bed? (7-9)

Time and inertia are closely related themes since Corinna's stop-at-nothing laziness is a big waste of time. Even the flowers are more conscious of time, and they don't even have watches. Isn't it time to get up, watch CNN, and drink some coffee?

Quote #2

    Come and receive them while the light
    Hangs on the dew-locks of the night:
    And Titan on the eastern hill
    Retires himself, or else stands still
Till you come forth (23-27)

Ah, maybe there is a solution. In stanza 2 it sounds like time's willing to cut Corinna some slack. Since this is a different message than what comes at the end of the poem, it looks like either the speaker has changed up his arguments or that time is kinder to young people in love: days are longer, time is slower, and it seems like you have all the time in the world.

Quote #3

                      Wash, dress, be brief in praying:
Few beads are best when once we go a-Maying (27-28)

No time for religion when it's May Day. God can wait, the sun can wait. The only thing that can't wait is the speaker, who's incredibly anxious to get Corinna out in the fragrant air.

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