Monday, October 25, 2010

A Monday Distraction

We haven't talked much about Christopher Marlowe, one of Shakespeare's contemporaries and perhaps one of his most important influences -- but we're going to remedy that oversight very soon.

In the meantime, here's one of Marlowe's best-known poems, "The Passionate Shepherd to his Love." (Personally, however, I've always been more amused by "The Nymph's Reply to the Shepherd" by Walter Raleigh.)

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 lined 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.

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