By Christopher Marlowe
COME live with me and be my Love,
And we will all the pleasures prove
That hills and valleys, dale and field,
And all the craggy mountains yield.
There will we sit upon the rocks        5
And see the shepherds feed their flocks,
By shallow rivers, to whose falls
Melodious birds sing madrigals.
There will I make thee beds of roses
And a thousand fragrant posies,        10
A cap of flowers, and a kirtle
Embroider'd all with leaves of myrtle.
A gown made of the finest wool
Which from our pretty lambs we pull,
Fair linèd slippers for the cold,        15
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.        20
Thy silver dishes for thy meat
As precious as the gods do eat,
Shall on an ivory table be
Prepared each day for thee and me.
The shepherd swains shall dance and sing        25
For thy delight each May-morning:
If these delights thy mind may move,
Then live with me and be my Love.
REPLY TO MARLOWE.
[The nymph's reply to the shepherd]
By Sir Walter Raleigh
F 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.
The 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,
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.
Dec. 10, 2006
The Bard to Mona Donna
Dont live with me but be my love,
And we will all deep pleasures prove,
Neither Marlowe nor Raleigh I fear,
Can know what happens when were near.
Marlowe is shallow it is true,
With his roses, posies and myrtle blue,
For flowers and the fruit of Priapus amour,
Fade and wilt a petit mort.
(Sunflowers would bloom forever more )
But Sir Walter understands us neither,
What happens to us in our fever,
His cynicism really falls quite short,
Of understanding passion of our sort.
Our world and love are no longer young,
Yet still our bloom of passion is hung,
Like delicate embers of springs delight,
Turned to summer blooms upon a tree of Christmas lights.
But who can blame either poet for failing,
To ken our growing madness sailing?
Even Mona Donna and this bard once in a while,
Struggle and suffer and even smile.
What we have is so strange and bittersweet,
But I know that when our blazing eyes meet,
I feel shaken and stirred to the core,
I want you now not less but more.
How can your illicit touch be so pure?
My phallic thrusts that make you sore,
So desperate to elicit passion in your heart,
Even at dawn it hurts to part.
Now sitting here on my couch,
Why do I feel alone in a full house?
It is because when we are alienated,
A part of our hearts still remains mated.
Contemptuous wags like Raleigh cannot understand,
That what we have goes beyond our wedding bands,
When I make love and look into your eyes,
I thrust more deeply than between your thighs.
No other man has had the grace to know Donna,
His lady Whore, his sweet Madonna,
I touch you in places deep and hidden,
Though you try to hide and the touch unbidden.
I pumped you with my lifes seed,
That spring afternoon by the stream and the reeds,
I made love to you in a way,
That no ring or license could take away.
At the Siesta or Whitehouse you drift asleep,
And I revel in the knowledge of your animus deep,
I know you like no man ever,
And know that what we have is forever.
So let the two poets argue about the nature of love,
With the help of God and Heaven above,
We two will struggle to ken,
What we know goes beyond the laws of nature or men.
For now we see in the mirror dimly,
What Paul said beautifully and simply,
That Gods plans for us and our understanding He will one day send,
But for today we need to know only that our love will never end.
(Author's note: To understand the poem, one must know that she has eyes like sunflowers. And, her Mona Lisa smile was her skeptical smile. She never read the poem. We met for the last time shortly before it was written. I was going to give it to her the next time we had a rendezvous -- a lover's meeting that never came to fruition.)