14 February 2006 | Vol. 5, No. 4

The Passionate Shepherd to His Love

Come live with me and be my Love,

And we will all the pleasures prove

That hills and valleys, dale and field,

And all the craggy mountains yield.

There will we sit upon the rocks

And see the shepherds feed their flocks,

By shallow rivers, to whose falls

Melodious birds sing madrigals.

There will I make thee beds of roses

And a thousand fragrant posies,

A cap of flowers, and a kirtle

Embroider'd all with leaves of myrtle.

A gown made of the finest wool

Which from our pretty lambs we pull,

Fair linèd slippers for the cold,

With buckles of the purest gold.

A belt of straw and ivy buds

With coral clasps and amber studs:

And if these pleasures may thee move,

Come live with me and be my Love.

Thy silver dishes for thy meat

As precious as the gods do eat,

Shall on an ivory table be

Prepared each day for thee and me.

The shepherd swains shall dance and sing

For thy delight each May-morning:

If these delights thy mind may move,

Then live with me and be my Love.

About the author:

1564-1593. Christopher Marlowe, a shoemaker's son, was educated at Cambridge. In 1587 he went to London and become an actor and playwright for the Lord Admiral's Company, writing such works as Dr. Faustus and The Jew of Malta. Many theories and historians believe that Marlowe was a government agent, a spy, and that these activities directly influenced his death by stabbing in a brawl in 1593.

Marlowe's work was highly influential and well-regarded, even by Shakespeare—perhaps the only English playwright better regarded—who's only reference to a contemporary writer is to Marlowe's long poem, Hero and Leander, in As You Like It: "Dear Shepherd, now I find thy saw of might, / 'Who ever loved that loved not at first sight?'."

Learn more about Christopher Marlowe at Wikipedia.

For further reading:

Browse the contents of 42opus Vol. 5, No. 4, where "The Passionate Shepherd to His Love" ran on February 14, 2006. List other work with these same labels: poetry, classic, love poem, rhyme.

42opus is an online magazine of the literary arts.

copyright © 2001-2011
XHTML // CSS // 508