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To His Coy Mistress
By Andrew Marvell

To His Coy Mistress
? 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 Shouldst 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; 如果我们的世界够大,时间够 多, 小姐,这样的羞怯就算不上罪 过。 我们会坐下来,想想该上哪边 去散步,度过我们漫漫的爱情 天。 你会在印度的恒河河畔 寻得红宝石:我则咕哝抱怨, 傍着洪泊湾的潮汐。我会在 诺亚洪水前十年就将你爱, 你如果高兴,可以一直说不要, 直到犹太人改信别的宗教。 我植物般的爱情会不断生长, 比帝国还要辽阔,还要缓慢;

To His Coy Mistress
? 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.
我会用一百年的时间赞美 你的眼睛,凝视你的额眉; 花两百年爱慕你的每个乳 房, 三万年才赞赏完其它的地 方; 每个部位至少花上一个世 代, 在最后一世代才把你的心 秀出来。 因为,小姐,你值得这样 的礼遇, 我也不愿用更低的格调爱 你。

To His Coy Mistress
? But at my back I always hear Time’s wingèd 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 your quaint honour turn to dust, And into ashes all my lust. The grave's a fine and private place, But none I think do there embrace.
可是在我背后我总听见 时间带翼的马车急急追赶; 而横陈在我们眼前的 却是无垠永恒的荒漠。 你的美绝不会再现芳踪, 你大理石墓穴里,我的歌 声 也不会回荡:那时蛆虫将 品尝 你那珍藏已久的贞操, 你的矜持会化成灰尘, 我的情欲会变成灰烬: 坟墓是个隐密的好地方, 但没人会在那里拥抱,我 想。

To His Coy Mistress
? 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.

因此,现在趁青春色泽 还像朝露在你的肌肤停坐, 趁你的灵魂自每个毛孔欣然 散发出实时的火焰, 此刻让我们能玩就玩个尽兴; 此刻,像发情的猛禽 宁可一口把我们的时光吞掉 也不要在慢嚼的嘴里虚耗。 让我们把所有力气,所有 甜蜜,滚成一个圆球, 粗鲁狂猛地夺取我们的快感 冲破一扇扇人生的铁栅栏: 这样,我们虽无法叫太阳 驻足,却可使他奔跑向前。

? There was a man falling in love with his mistress. He wanted to make love to her, but the mistress was shy and turned him down. The speaker wrote the poem to the mistress in order to persuade her to accept him.

? 1st. Stanza: The speaker told the
mistress how much he loved her

? 2nd. Stanza: The speaker threatens
the mistress if she does not seize the day to have fun, she will regret when she dies because time flies.

? 3rd. Stanza: The speaker convinces
the mistress to make love to him.

My vegetable love should grow, Vaster than empires, and more slow.

The grave’s a fine and private place, But none, I think, do there embrace. “坟墓是个隐密的好地方, 但没人会在那里拥抱,我想” 诗人无情地幽默了一回,并且, 为第三节的再次转入新内容作 出铺垫。

? The poem is written in iambic(抑扬格的) tetrameter(四、八音步诗)and rhymes in couplets(对句). The first stanza (“Had we”) is ten couplets long, the second (“But…”) six, and the third (“Now therefore…”) seven. ? The logical form of the poem runs: if (had)…but…therefore…
? 整首诗歌,是一个三段论的结构。 1)如果A,那么B 2)不是A,那么不是B 3)所以,C

? This is a seducing poem. The speaker shows his strong passion for the mistress and tried very hard to persuade her to make love to him. Because time and time wait for no man, he asks her to “seize the day and have fun”, or she will regret when she is dead.

? Carpe diem——Seize the Day: a theme especially common in lyric poetry, that emphasizes life is short, and time is fleeting, and that one should make the most use of present pleasures.
及时行乐:强调生命短暂,时光飞逝, 一个人应该最重视现实生活的乐趣。

? Ⅰ. That long preserved virginity/ And

your quaint honor turn to dust
? → To keep her honor, the mistress sticks

to her principle to remain her virginity. But after she dies, all she keeps turn out to be dust and nothing meaningful is left. The speaker tries to argue whether virginity is honorable to her.

? Ⅱ. The grave’s fine and private place/

But none, I think, do there embrace
→ The speaker uses ironic tone to threaten the mistress if she doesn’t seize the day to have fun, she will regret once she dies.

? Ⅲ. Deserts of eternity/ And your quaint honor

turn dust/ And into ashes all my lust.
→ The speaker said the desert is eternal because it isn’t affected by time. In the later lines, the speaker compares quaint honor to dust, and lust to ashes. Although dust and ashes are eternal, just like the desert, these two things are meaningless. The speaker said because humans are mortal, humans should seize the time to do whatever they would like to do. The speaker persuades the mistress to express the desire and seize the day to enjoy life.

? 1. I

would love you before the Flood……(P.739 Line 8)

◆“Flood” happened in the story of Noah ark, which occurs in Genesis some time after creation. It indicates he shall love her early in history.

? 2. And you should, if you please,

refuse…… the conversion of Jews.
(P.739 Line 9,10)

◆ According to the Bible, “the conversion of Jews” will come before the end of the world, which is judgment day( 世界末日). So this sentence means that the speaker would love the mistress shortly before the end of the world.

? 3. That long preserved virginity, and your

quaint honor turn to dust.
Line 28-29)


◆“Quaint honor” represents what the mistress is keeping now, which is her long preserved virginity.

Imagery ? 1. Vegetable (P739 Line 11)
? ◆The symbolic meaning of “Vegetable Love” is deep and unconsciously growing love. The root of the vegetable is deep into the soil and the vegetable grows slowly, just like the speaker’s love toward the mistress in an ideal state.

2. But at my back I always hear Time’s winged chariot hurrying near. (P.739 Line 21-22) ◆Time flies. “Winged” and “Chariot” represent something passing quickly.


? 3. Thy beauty shall no more……marble vault shall sound my echoing song.
(P.739 Line 25-27)

◆It means when the mistress “dies”, she won’t be able to enjoy life anymore.

? 4. Now let us sport us while we May And now, like amorous birds of prey
(P.740 Line 37-38)

◆“Sport” means “making love”. The speaker convinces the mistress that they should make love passionately and don’t repress their desire for sex just like “amorous birds of prey”.

? 5. Tear our pleasure with rough strife (P.740 Line 43) ◆”Strife” originally means “fight.” But here, “strife” means “orgasm,” which means “the moment when you have the greatest sexual pleasure during sex.”

? 6. Iron gates of life
(P.740 Line 44)

◆ “Iron gates of life” means “death.” When making love, they are not afraid of death.

? 7. We cannot make our sun Stand still, yet we will make him run.(P.740 Line 45-46)
◆ In this sentence, using the word “sun” is a kind pun. One is “Sun” represents “heat” but it still can’t affect our love, and even our passion can melt the Sun. The other is that the sun means “time,” and we have to speed up the time.

? The theme of this poem is “carpe dien.” This is a seducing poem. The speaker uses a lot of exaggerated and abstract words to describe his love toward the mistress and he also told the mistress that time flies and asked her to enjoy life quickly. Also, the speaker tells the mistress that humans are mortal so they should do something meaningful in their life, or they will have regret.

Thank you!

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