We have changed our privacy policy. In addition, we use cookies on our website for various purposes. By continuing on our website, you consent to our use of cookies. You can learn about our practices by reading our privacy policy.
© 2016 Shmoop University, Inc. All rights reserved.
To the Virgins, to Make Much of Time (Gather ye rosebuds)

To the Virgins, to Make Much of Time (Gather ye rosebuds)

  

by Robert Herrick

Stanza 2 Summary

Get out the microscope, because we’re going through this poem line-by-line.

Lines 5-8

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.

  • The speaker continues with another example of the passage of time.
  • The higher the sun gets (the further west it moves), the "sooner" will its journey be over, because it's "nearer" to "setting."
  • The speaker calls the sun a "glorious lamp" because it gives off light.
  • "A-getting" is just an older or poetic way of saying "getting."
  • The sun isn't actually running a race; "race" can mean "journey, voyage, path."
  • The progress of the sun through the sky, which is how we measure a day, recalls the first stanza's discussion of "today" and "tomorrow."

People who Shmooped this also Shmooped...

Advertisement