Further reading

Gray, Douglas. "Fifteenth-Century Lyrics and Carols." In Nation, Court, and Culture: New Essays in Fifteenth-Century Poetry, edited by Helen Cooney, 168-183. Dublin: Four Courts, 2001.

Greene, Richard L., ed. The Early English Carols. 2nd ed.

Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1977. Keyte, Hugh, and Andrew Parrot. The New Oxford Book of Carols. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1992.

Carol E. Harding and Michelle M. Sauer

CARPE DIEM Latin for "seize the day," the phrase is taken from the Roman poet Horace's odes. Carpe diem became one of the standard motifs in the early modern era, particularly in erotic verse. In such poems, the speaker urges a woman, usually a virgin, to enjoy life's immediate pleasures (sex) instead of wasting time. The lyric "Come Away, Come Sweet Love" is one such example. It was also popular in the pastoral tradition—for example, in Christopher Marlowe's "The Passionate Shepherd to His Love" and Robert Henryson's Robene and Makyne, both of which feature seductions. Finally, some poets used the carpe diem tradition to focus on mortality and the fleeting sense of earthly beauty (e.g., The Faerie Queene: "Gather therefore the Rose, whilst yet is prime," 2.12.74-75).

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