had we but world enough, and time, / this coyness, lady, were no crime

Cultural Dictionary

Had we but world enough, and time, / This coyness, Lady, were no crime definition

The first lines of “To His Coy Mistress,” a poem by the seventeenth-century English poet Andrew Marvell. The poet tells a woman whom he loves that if they had endless time and space at their disposal, then he could accept her unwillingness to go to bed with him. Life is short, however, and opportunities must be seized.

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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