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.