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The Passionate Shepherd to His Love and The Nymph’s Reply to the Shepherd

Sometimes poetry sings in my heart. I usually wax poetic when I’m feeling melancholy or nostalgic. I’ve been both lately. Nothing speaks to me quite like 16th century poetry.

Today I would like to share two of my favorite poems with you. I first read these great poems by Christopher Marlowe and Sir Walter Raleigh while I was in high school. The first line of The Passionate Shepherd to His Love has been rolling around in my head for a couple of weeks, so I decided to dig out one of my poetry volumes and read it again. Since I like to share the things that I love with others, here are these two wonderful poems for you to enjoy.

The Passionate Shepherd to His Love By Christopher Marlowe 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.

And we will sit upon the Rocks, Seeing the Shepherds feed their flocks, By shallow Rivers to whose falls Melodious birds sing Madrigals.

And I will 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.

The Shepherds’ 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.

The Nymph’s Reply to the Shepherd By Sir Walter Raleigh If all the world and love were young, And truth in every Shepherd’s tongue, These pretty pleasures might me move, To live with thee, and be thy love.

Time drives the flocks from field to fold, When Rivers rage and Rocks grow cold, And Philomel becometh dumb, The rest complains of cares to come.

The flowers do fade, and wanton fields, To wayward winter reckoning yields, A honey tongue, a heart of gall, Is fancy’s spring, but sorrow’s fall.

Thy gowns, thy shoes, thy beds of Roses, Thy cap, thy kirtle, and thy posies Soon break, soon wither, soon forgotten: In folly ripe, in reason rotten.

Thy belt of straw and Ivy buds, The Coral clasps and amber studs, All these in me no means can move To come to thee and be thy love.

But could youth last, and love still breed, Had joys no date, nor age no need, Then these delights my mind might move To live with thee, and be thy love.

I hope you’ve enjoyed these two poems.

Thank you for reading Ozarks Maven! If you’ve enjoyed my little seeds of wisdom and joy, please subscribe to Ozarks Maven, Like Ozarks Maven on Facebook, or follow me on Twitter @OzarksMaven.

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