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PotW #171
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The Passionate Shepherd to His Love
- Christopher Marlowe (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 mountains 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 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-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.

    The shepherd swains shall dance and sing
    For thy delight each may morning;
    If these delights they mind may move,
    Then live with me and be my love.


For responses to this poem, see Sir Walter Ralegh's The Nymph's Reply to the Shepherd, C. Day Lewis's Song, and John Donne's The Baite.

The above poem can be found for example in:

  • Williams, Oscar, ed. Immortal Poems of the English Language New York: Pocket Books, 1952.
  • Bryant, William Cullen, ed. A New Library of Poetry and Song (Utopian Edition). Garden City, NY: Doubleday, Page & Company, 1927.