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To His Coy Mistress – Four Levels of Interactions | Flax Golden Tales

To His Coy Mistress – Four Levels of Interactions | Flax-Golden Tales

To His Coy Mistress - Four Levels

To His Coy Mistress – Andrew Marvell, England (1621-1678)

Literal Comprehension

“To His Coy Mistress” is a love poem written by Andrew Marvell. The speaker in the poem addresses his beloved and argues that if they had plenty of time, the coyness of the lady would not be any crime. He would spend several ages convincing her, parsing her beauty and adoring different parts of her body. But time is passing very fast and it is dragging them towards death. Therefore the speaker tries to persuade her to enjoy with him at the very moment. He further argues that they cannot change the time but if they are wise enough, they can utilize it by loving each other. The speaker says that after death there is no meaning of loving because our dead body will be rotten decayed by worms.


The poet is trying to show the value of time because time and tide waits for none. Whatever work we like to do should be done in time. Love, beauty, and power are momentary things which don’t last for a long time. So we should utilize them in the present time. Our life is short and youth is even shorter. The pleasure of love cannot be realized after death. So we should make the best of the present moment.

Critical Thinking

Although the poem is very interesting to read, there are some points in the poem with which I don’t agree. In the poem, the speaker says that he will love his beloved for ten years before the flood. Is it possible? He further says that he will praise her eyes for a hundred year and he will like her breast for two hundred years. Is it possible? How can a man live for two hundred only physical attraction? The poet talks only the present condition of love but not what to do in the future. Is our present time only to love? If so, when to think about the future?


After reading this poem, I came to understand the value of the present time. Time and tide wait for none. Therefore we must accomplish our duties today because tomorrow never ends. We must not worry what will happen in the future but we should think what we are doing in present. So, I have determined to think about present time rather than past and future.

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