to the virgins , to make much of time
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A rose is seen as the symbol of the beauty and transitoriness of life. Herrick presents this theme when he compares the virgins (his audience) to rosebuds. A virgin has not yet flowered and Herrick suggests that if they give up their virginity while still young, attractive and capable of childbearing, they will bloom into beautiful roses (this should of course involve marriage). He also alludes to the transitory state of the rose when he notes that the blooms "tomorrow will be dying," urging the virgins to live while they can because aging is a part of the transition.