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To his coy Mistress - Andrew Marvell - Read by Tom Hiddleston
Had we but world enough, and time,
This coyness, lady, were no crime.
We would sit down, and think which way
To walk, and pass our long love’s day.
Thou by the Indian Ganges’ side
Should’st rubies find: I by the tide
Of Humber would complain, I would
Love you ten years before the flood,
And you should, if you please, refuse
Till the conversion of the Jews.
My vegetable love should grow
Vaster than empires, and more slow ;
An hundred years should go to praise
Thine eyes, and on thy forehead gaze ;
Two hundred to adore each breast,
But thirty thousand to the rest ;
An age at least to every part,
And the last age should show your heart ;
For, lady, you deserve this state,
Nor would I love at lower rate.
But at my back I always hear
Time’s winged chariot hurrying near ;
And yonder all before us lie
Deserts of vast eternity.
Thy beauty shall no more be found,
Nor, in thy marble vault, shall sound
My echoing song: then worms shall try
That long-preserved virginity,
And you quaint honor turn to dust,
And into ashes all my lust :
The grave’s a fine and private place,
But none, I think, do there embrace.
Now, therefore, while the youthful hue
Sits on thy skin like morning dew,
And while thy willing soul transpires
At every pore with instant fires,
Now let us sport us while we may,
And now, like amorous birds of prey,
Rather at once our time devour,
Than languish in his slow-chapt power.
Let us roll all our strength and all
Our sweetness up into one ball,
And tear our pleasures with rough strife
Thorough the iron gates of life :
Thus, though we cannot make our sun
Stand still, yet we will make him run.
Reblogging because it’s Tom Hiddleston reading Andrew Marvell. And because I was thinking of this poem after General Campion and Christopher Tietjens discuss it in No More Parades:
The general had paused. He began to say:
‘But there are finer things in Marvell than that…’
‘He’s trying to gain time…Why on earth should he?…What is this all about?’ His mind slipped a notch. The general was looking at his finger-nails on the blanket. He said:
‘There’s, for instance:
‘The grave’s a fine and secret place
But none I think do there embrace…
At those words it came to Tietjens suddenly to think of Sylvia, with the merest film of clothing on her long, shining limbs…She was working a powder-puff under her armpits in a brilliant illumination from two electric lights, one on each side of her dressing table. She was looking at him in the glass with the corners of her lips just moving. A little curled…He said to himself:
‘One is going to that fine and secret place…Why not have?’ She had emanated a perfume founded on sandalwood. As she worked her swansdown powder-puff over those intimate regions he could hear her humming. Maliciously! It was then that he had observed the handle of the door moving minutely. She had incredible arms, stretched out amongst a wilderness of besilvered cosmetics. Extraordinarily lascivious! Yet clean! Her gilded sheath gown was about her hips on the chair…
Well! she had pulled the strings of one too many shower-baths!