Gather ye rosebuds while ye may


Senior Member
Hello there.

I recently saw again « Dead poets society » starring deeply regretted Robin Williams.

At the beginning, professor Keating (RW) wanted to draw his students' attention about the meaning of : « gather ye rosebuds while ye may ».
From the early 17th century poem « To the virgins, to make much of time » by Robert Herrick.

That stands for « seize the day » and « carpe diem » in latin as they replied in the movie.

I think the second « ye » is for the old pronoun« you » but I am remaining sceptical about the first one.

Is it for another « you » which accentuates an imperative conjugation like « fear you not... !! » for « fear not ...!! » or is it the old article « ye » for « the » like « Ye olde tavern » for instance ?

It could be either of these, according to me. I am just guessing.

Thank you for helping me out.
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