The Passionate Shepherd to His Love - A poem by Christopher Marlowe

The Poem

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.



This poem is a great example of pastoral poetry. Pastoral poetry idealises rural living. 


There is a predominant tone of longing ad romance in this poem.


  • Rhyme scheme: Rhyming couplet

This rhyme scheme is particularly apt to this poem because Marlowe is trying to seduce a women and be a couple.

  • General:  This poem is pretty simple.

This is apt because he wants to live a simple lifestyle.

  • This poem is a pastoral lyric. 
  • Written in iambic tetrameter
  • Each stanza is a quatrain


Whilst the diction can be seen as sweet and romantic, it can be seen that this poem is pleading and lovesick. He can be seen as demanding as well as manipulative by using very idyllic and unrealistic (using hyperboles). 

Imagery and Symbolism


  • A lot of natural scenery
    • Such as the waterfall and fields
  • Emphasizes beauty that he will experience with his love
  • Riches and a well lived life


  • The places that he speaks of as well as the scenery
    • Shows how much her love means to him


Marlowe is trying to seduce a women. This can be seen throughout the poem but a particular quote would be:

"Come live with me and be my love"

Figurative language 

  • There a lot of enjambment
    • Used to emphasise all the places that the poet and his love will go
      • The places are so vast that the speaker is saying it cannot fit on one line
  • Alliteration creates a song like atmosphere
  • The use of consonance makes the poem sound tranquil
    • "Shallow rivers to whose falls"
  • The final stanzas have a refrain
    • This adds to the persuasion in the poem.