Carpe Diem meaning "seize the day", the phrase was used by Horace in his Odes (I. XI) to encourage the enjoyment of this life and its pleasures.
Dum loquimur, fugerit invida
Aetas: carpe diem, quam minimum credula postero
which translates as :
While we are talking, envious time is fleeing: pluck the day, put no trust in the future.
The idea springs from the realization of the ephemerality of life and the finality of death. The rose and the brevity of its life is often seen as a symbol for carpe diem.
The theme was common in 16th and 17th century poetry, the poets enjoining their wives to yield to love and enjoy present pleasures. Among the best-known poems describing the carpe diem motif in English literature, one finds Andrew Marvell's "To His Coy Mistress", Herricks "To the Virgins, to Make Much of Time" and Edmund Waller's "Go, lovely rose".
TO THE VIRGINS, TO MAKE MUCH OF TIME.
by Robert Herrick
GATHER ye rosebuds while ye may,
Old time is still a-flying :
And this same flower that smiles to-day
To-morrow will be dying.
The glorious lamp of heaven, the sun,
The higher he's a-getting,
The sooner will his race be run,
And nearer he's to setting.
That age is best which is the first,
When youth and blood are warmer ;
But being spent, the worse, and worst
Times still succeed the former.
Then be not coy, but use your time,
And while ye may go marry :
For having lost but once your prime
You may for ever tarry.