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John William Waterhouse (6 April 1849  10 February 1917)  Gather Ye Rosebuds While Ye May  Oil on canvas, 1908  61.6 cm × 45.7 cm (24.3 in × 18.0 in)  Private collection
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Title: Gather Ye
Description:
 
John William Waterhouse (6 April 1849 — 10 February 1917)
Gather Ye Rosebuds While Ye May
Oil on canvas, 1908
61.6 cm × 45.7 cm (24.3 in × 18.0 in)
Private collection

Gather Ye Rosebuds While Ye May is an oil painting on canvas created in 1908 by British Pre-Raphaelite artist, John William Waterhouse. It was the first of two paintings inspired by the 17th century poem "To the Virgins, to Make Much of Time" by Robert Herrick. First published in 1648 in a volume of verse entitled Hesperides, it is perhaps one of the most famous poems to extol the notion of carpe diem. Carpe diem expresses a philosophy that recognizes the brevity of life and therefore the need to live for and in the moment. The phrase originates in Horace's Ode 1.11.

The opening line, "Gather Ye Rosebuds While Ye May", echoes the Latin phrase collige, virgo, rosas ("gather, girl, the roses"), which appears at the end of the poem De rosis nascentibus, also called Idyllium de rosis, attributed to Ausonius or Virgil.


To the Virgins, to Make Much of Time

Gather ye rosebuds while ye may,
Old Time is still a-flying:

And this same flower that smiles to-day
To-morrow will be dying.


The glorious lamp of heaven, the sun,
The higher he's a-getting,

The sooner will his race be run,
And nearer he's to setting.


That age is best which is the first,
When youth and blood are warmer;

But being spent, the worse, and worst
Times still succeed the former.


Then be not coy, but use your time,
And while ye may, go marry:

For having lost but once your prime,
You may for ever tarry.


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John William Waterhouse (6 April 1849  10 February 1917)  Echo and Narcissus  Oil on canvas, 1903  109.2 cm × 189.2 cm (43.0 in × 74.5 in)  Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool, United KingdomJohn William Waterhouse (6 April 1849  10 February 1917)  Gather Ye Rosebuds While Ye May  Oil on canvas, 1908  61.6 cm × 45.7 cm (24.3 in × 18.0 in)  Private collectionJohn William Waterhouse (6 April 1849  10 February 1917)  Gather Ye Rosebuds While Ye May  Oil on canvas, 1909  100 cm × 83 cm (39.5 in × 32.5 in)  Odon Wagner Gallery, Toronto, Canada
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