And this same flower that smiles to-day To-morrow will be dying. (3-4)
There's something strange about the certainty with which the speaker
describes the death of the flower. He doesn't say it "might die
tomorrow" or "it could die," but rather it "will be dying." It's as if
he wants to drive home the certainty of death. The lines enact the
suddenness and surprise that death can occasion by juxtaposing "to-day"
and "to-morrow" so closely (the former ends one line while the latter
begins the following one).
The sooner will his race be run, And nearer he's to setting. (7-8)
The speaker is talking about the sun, but we know he's really talking
about death. Or is he? The speaker wants to emphasize the fact that
we're always one step closer to death, but everybody knows the sun will
rise again in the morning. Whether he wants to or not, the speaker ends
up suggesting that, perhaps, there are second chances. Yeah, sure, maybe
the virgins will get older, but perhaps they can metaphorically "rise"
But being spent, the worse, and worst Times still succeed the former. (11-12)
These lines imply that the progression from youth to age is something of
a miniature death. This is evident here in the use of the word "spent,"
which means something like "used up," "gone," "no more." It's also
evident in the progression from "worse" to "worst."