From Caravaggio’s painting Saint Jerome Writing. (Hulton Fine Art Collection via Getty images)

Things Worth Remembering: Time’s Winged Chariot Hurrying Near

A centuries-old poem reminds us to squeeze life out of every moment.

Welcome back to Douglas Murray’s Sunday column, Things Worth Remembering, where he presents passages from great poets he has committed to memory—and explains why you should, too. To listen to Douglas read from Andrew Marvell’s “To His Coy Mistress,” click below:

Andrew Marvell was not just a great seventeenth-century poet; he was a member of the parliament in Westminster. He also managed to straddle one of the harder transitions in political history: he became an MP just as the Cromwells were coming to the end of their reign and Charles II returned from exile.

To his eternal credit, Marvell successfully petitioned for clemency for his friend John Milton, who had been on the “wrong” side of the new regime. (Milton’s book Eikonoklastes, published in 1649, is a defense of the execution of Charles II’s father, Charles I, earlier that year.) 

Even if Marvell had written nothing himself, saving Milton—who would later write Paradise Lost—would have been enough.

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