The Passionate Shepherd To His Love

by CHRISTOPHER MARLOWE (c. 1564-1593)

COME live with me and be my Love,
And we will all the pleasures prove,
That valleys, groves, hills, and fields,
Woods, or steepy mountain yields.

There will we sit upon the rocks,
Seeing 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
Embroidered 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.

Read The Nymph’s Reply by Sir Walter Raleigh

Christopher Marlowe

English dramatist, tragedian and poet, Christopher Marlowe was a contemporary of William Shakespeare, although his life was literally cut short in mysterious circumstances, while Shakespeare would live a little over two more decades. Of the many works credited to Marlowe, very few were actually published during his lifetime.

Twelve days before his death, a warrant was issued for Marlowe’s arrest on 18 May 1593. Whatever the reasons for his legal troubles, he was involved in a brawl 12 days later that resulted in his being stabbed to death. Through the efforts of Leslie Hotson, the coroners report on Marlowe’s death was published in 1925, and it was established that the individual who killed Marlowe was one Ingram Frizer, who made a successful self-defense claim.

Christopher Marlowe Contemporaries
Elizabeth I
William Shakespeare
Ben Jonson

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