The Passionate Shepherd 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 flower, 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.
This is my favorite poem, one of the first that I ever appreciated as a young boy. It speaks to the yearnings of the heart to have and be with its beloved.
It has been conjectured that the poet, Christopher Marlowe was a same gender loving person, and that this poem was an appeal to his secret lover. In the year 1600, Sir Walter Raleigh famously responded with his own poem (The Nymph's Reply to the Shepherd) in which he expressed fear and doubt about the idyllic promises in Marlowe's beautiful poetry.
Nevertheless, some 400 years later, the Shepherd's promise can now be fulfilled in the lives of men who love one another... And so the truth of a heart from a past now long ago and the promise of love that was once only dreamed of can be made real today.
"Fear Eats the Soul"