What is the meaning of William Shakespeare's poem "Carpe Diem" from Twelfth Night?
O stay and hear! your true-love's coming
That can sing both high and low;
Trip no further, pretty sweeting,
Journeys end in lovers' meeting—
Every wise man's son doth know.
William Shakespeare’s poem, “Carpe Diem” is from the play “Twelfth-Night,” Act II. Scene 3. The meaning of “carpe diem” that is generally accepted is to seize the day but the more literal meaning is to pluck or pick the day as in picking a blossom. Many of Shakespeare’s poems are known for their romantic innuendos and this is one of them. In this poem, he is speaking to a young lover imploring her to come and stay with him, “Journey’s end in lovers ‘meeting—Every wise man’s son doth know.” He explains that no one knows what the future holds so he and his young love should not delay but they should live and laugh and love for today. Finally, he explains that one is not young forever; it is better to enjoy what is available in the present.