Thursday, February 13, 2014

Marlowe & Raleigh for Valentine's Day

Happy Valentine's Day!! It's one of my favorite holidays, it always has been, and it's my 14th Anniversary. Matt and I are planning to go to Fort Worth for dinner and then go miniature golfing. The weather is supposed to be beautiful all day!

This year, for Valentine's day, I thought it might be fun to share with you my favorite love poem of all time, "The Passionate Shepard to His Love" by Christopher Marlowe (1564-1593). It has always been my favorite, but I'm a realist and so I can't possibly love Marlowe's poem without also loving the reply poem by Sir Walter Raleigh (1552-1618), "The Nymph's Reply to the Shepard." The picture just isn't complete without the both of them!

The Passionate Shepard to His Love

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 Shepard

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.
Together, these two pieces are absolutely my favorite works of their time. To me, they're the most perfect poetic conversation. Marlowe and Raleigh, *swoon,* I truly love them.