Thursday, July 12, 2012

The Gift of Time

Tonight I have been pondering the gift of time. What is time? Why do we live in time? What is eternity? What is now? Fortunately, I have found good company with others who have thought about and written about time. Emily Dickinson once mused that "Forever - is composed of Nows."

Sometimes we wish time to stand still. Other times we wish the time to pass quickly. Here are a few poetic portraits of time:

"Shall Time's best jewel from Time's chest lie hid?
Or what strong hand can hold his swift foot back?"
 - Shakespeare, Sonnet LXV

"Thou still unravished bride of quietness, 
Thou foster child of silence and slow time" - John Keats, Ode on a Grecian Urn

"Had we but world enough, and time,
This coyness, lady, were no crime." - Andrew Marvell, To His Coy Mistress

"To Time it never seems that he is brave
To set himself against the peaks of snow" - Robert Frost, I Could Give All to Time

"Fly envious Time, till thou run out thy race" - John Milton, On Time

"Ô temps ! suspends ton vol, et vous, heures propices !
Suspendez votre cours :
Laissez-nous savourer les rapides délices
Des plus beaux de nos jours ! " - Alphonse de Lamartine, Le Lac

But alas, time moves swiftly ever onward. Perhaps only Quintus Horatius Flaccus (Horace) captured the truth of time when he wrote in Odes 1.11:

Sapias, vina liques, et spatio brevi
spem longam reseces. dum loquimur, fugerit invida
aetas: carpe diem, quam minimum credula postero.

"Be wise, strain the wine; and since life is brief, prune back far-reaching hopes! Even while we speak, envious time has passed: pluck the day, putting as little trust as possible in tomorrow!"

So, without further ado... CARPE DIEM, because as Virgil once wrote... TEMPUS FUGIT.