"Come live with me and be my loves"

This is a play on the first line of a famous poem by the English writer Christopher Marlowe, called 'The Passionate Shepherd to His Love'. Marlowe (1564-1593), a contemporary of Shakespeare, wrote poetry and plays. He was stabbed to death by Ingram Frizer ten days after being arrested; the murky circumstances surrounding his death have encouraged many rumours about his life. Some think he wrote many of Shakespeare's plays, others that he was a spy.

 

 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 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.