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Sir Walter Raleigh (1554?–1618). Poems. 1892.


Reply to Marlowe

1. Marlowe’s Song; The Passionate Shepherd to his Love; before 1593

COME live with me, and be my love;

And we will all the pleasures prove

That hills and valleys, dales 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 love with me, and be my love.

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.

2. Raleigh’s Reply; before 1599

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.

But time drives 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,

Thy coral clasps and amber studs,—

All those 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 those delights my mind might move

To live with thee and be thy love.