The Arts, Etc.

Poems 3

(love and lust 400+ years ago)

The Passionate Shepherd to His Love

by 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 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 they move,
            Come live with me and be my Love.

            The shepherds' swains shall dance and sing
            For they delight each May morning,
            If these delights the mind may move,
            Then live with me and be my Love.

The Nymph's Reply to the Shepherd

by Sir Walter Raleigh (1554-1618)

            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 face, 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.

            They belt of straw and ivy buds,
            Thy 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.

The Bait

by John Donne (1572-1631)

            Come live with me and be my love,
            And we will some new pleasures prove,
            Of golden sands and crystal brooks,
            With silken lines and silver hooks.

            There will the river whispering run,
            Warmed by thine eyes more than the sun.
            And there the enamored fish will stay,
            Begging themselves they may betray.

            When thou wilt swim in that live bath,
            Each fish, which every channel hath,
            Will amorously to thee swim,
            Gladder to catch thee, than thou him.

            If thou, to be so seen, beest loath,
            By sun or moon, thou darkenest both;
            And if myself have leave to see,
            I need not their light, having thee.

            Let others freeze with angling reeds,
            And cut their legs with shells and weeds,
            Or treacherously poor fish beset
            With strangling snare or windowy net;

            Let coarse bold hands from slimy nest
            The bedded fish in banks out-wrest,
            Or curious traitors, sleave-silk flies,
            Bewitch poor fishes' wandering eyes.

            For thee, thou needest no such deceit,
            For thou thyself art thine own bait;
            That fish that is not catched thereby,
            Alas, is wiser far than I.

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