This poem has been written in the form of a request to the poet's coy (or shy) mistress, the grant his desire for them to make love. He argues that for to delay makes no sense because 'at my back I always hear/time's winged chariot hurrying along near'. Much of his argument is made through a series of hyperbole (h-p rb-l) A figure of speech in which exaggeration is used for emphasis or effect, as in I could sleep for a year or This book weighs a ton. Here he is describing how slow they could move to consummate their love if there were no pressure of time. As all Cavalier poets, he supports the statement of "carpe diem", or "seize the day", that is an extension to the Renaissance code of chivalry.
Today, the speaker's speech may seem sexist in its attitude toward women and irresponsible in its attitude toward the coy mistress (the speaker doesn't explain how he would seize the day if the woman became pregnant, for example). The mistress would like to postpone sex (theoretically until she and the speaker are married). The speaker wants to consummate their physical relationship now.
The poem's speaker is attempting to persuade "His Coy Mistress" to have sex with him. The speaker seems frustrated, impatient, and to feel a sense of urgency in pursuing this goal.
Although the rhyme scheme of the poem follows a simple couplet pattern (AA, BB, and so on), two couplets use slant or irregular rhyme, not simply to vary the monotonous pattern but to reinforce the poem's theme. Lines 23 and 24 use the approximate rhyme "lie/eternity"; lines 27 and 28 repeat this irregularity: try/virginity." The poet uses pauses and enjambment (running one line into the next without a pause) to break up the neat pattern that the couplet rhyme scheme would impose. The references to spirituality in the first section seem to disappear in the second section's focus on lust (the loss of it in death) and the third section's focus on intercourse.
He directs a monologue to a desired lady in order to make her be not as "coy" and give away her virginity. It is actually devised from three logically flowing arguments showing the philosophy of most seventeenth century people. The first argument the speaker presents (lines 1-20) carries the purpose of misleading the lady by showing her the image of what would have been if all time lay before them. It starts with a hidden quatrain holding the argument's main idea that "had [they] but world enough, and time, this coyness lady were no crime" (1-2). He promises her slow and efficient enjoyment of their relationship given not only to sex but also to constant feelings. Actually, he even refers to the "conversion of the Jews" (10) to transfer some sense of purity and innocence to his intentions as well as to show the vastness of time. The image of time, actually, is central in this first part of the poem. It seems infinite because huge distances present it - from "the Indian Ganges' side"(5) to "Humber" (7). The alliteration of the...