The Passionate Shepherd

Come live with me and be my love?

 

We’ve lived with them and been their love

And we did all their pleasures prove

Their hills and valleys, dales and fields

One with our craggy mountains weald

 

But live with me and me alone

And we will wish all cares begone

That London sews and Brussels sprouts

From Irish, Welsh and English clouts

 

If we would steer around the rocks

Of wars and economic shocks

To shallow rivers by whose falls

Melodious birds sing madrigals

 

We’d own alone our beds of roses

And lie amongst our fragrant posies

Our tartan bonnets and kilted plaid

Proof against a world gone mad

—–

If all the world and love were young

And truth in every politicians tongue

Thy pretty pleasures might me move

To be with thee, alone thy love

 

But time drives wealth from sea to shore

Where rivers rage and rocks grow raw

And later, you becometh dumb

And then complain of cares to come

 

Thy flowers fade to spindrift fields

Which wayward winter reckoning yields

Thy siren’s tongue, but heart of gall

A salmon’s spring, but sorrows fall

 

The roses are not thine to tend

No nation they, to all a friend

And lonely pleasures lonely prove

So stay I shall and be all’s love

The Passionate Salmon and The River’s Reply

Christopher Marlowe wrote “The Passionate Shepherd” and Sir Walter Raleigh the riposte – “The Nymph’s Reply”. They lived just before the Union of the Crowns under the Scottish King James VI. The “independence” debate is of course a fishy affair with salmon, sturgeon and even “silver darlings” (Scots word for herrings).

The Passionate Salmon
Come live with me and by my love
And we will all our pleasure prove
Forsake these meads, their gentle lure
For mountain air and waters pure
Live there with me and me alone
And we will wish all care begone
That London sews and Brussels sprouts
For Irish, Welsh and English clouts
And we will swim around the rocks
Of wars and economic shocks
To shallow rivers by whose falls
Melodious fish sing madrigals
The River’s Reply
If all the world and love were young
And truth in every politician’s tongue
Thy pretty pleasures might me move
Alone to be with thee my love
But summer’s babble easy flows
Which wayward winter icy shows
Thy siren’s tongue, but heart of gall
A salmon’s spring, but sorrow’s fall
And once your upward urge is spent
Thy fishy soul be seaward bent
For lonely pleasures lonely prove
And ocean treasures all, my love