To His Coy Mistress, by Andrew Marvell
But at my back I always hear
Time’s winged chariot hurrying near
As I lay there under the morning slivers of sunrays, feeling myself enveloped by the slow caress of idleness, of my extravagance at affording such luxury, I didn’t hear the treading steps of time, tick-tocking behind the curtains.
And yonder all before us lie
Deserts of vast eternity.
His face I could touch, I’m drunk with the ecstasy of Dasein, under the warmth of his embrace I am anchored to the present. Satiated by the full knowledge that Absence is not presenting its hideous self soon.
The grave’s a fine and private place,
But none, I think, do there embrace.
Ah.. when would I stop fooling myself? I’ve always been waiting, waiting for him to come, and now that he’s finally here, I’ve ceased living. I’ve stopped being. If love is the opium of the people, then I am guilty of crime. Once I’ve taught myself of Jack London’s Credo:
I would rather be ashes than dust!
I would rather that my spark should burn out
in a brilliant blaze than it should be stifled by dry-rot.
I would rather be a superb meteor, every atom
of me in magnificent glow, than a sleepy and permanent planet.
The function of man is to live, not to exist.
I shall not waste my days trying to prolong them.
I shall use my time.
But now I wish if only time could stop and I would simply exist in the here and now. Without pain of wondering, without fear of fate.
Had we but world enough, and time.
And I ask myself, over and over, like Milan Kundera’s Tomas:
Muss es sein?
And over and over, a faint echo of truth repeats itself:
Es muss sein, es muss sein!
And I resign myself to what have been, to what is, and to what will be.
And now, like amorous birds of prey,
Rather at once our time devour
Than languish in this slow-chapt power.