Christopher Marlowe: The Passionate Shepherd to his Love

(481 words)
  • Lisa Hopkins (Sheffield Hallam University)

In 1599 a four-stanza version of an anonymously printed poem entitled “The Passionate Shepherd to His Love” appeared in a collection of poetry called The Passionate Pilgrim. The next year, another anthology called England's Helicon printed a version with two further stanzas and an ascription to 'Chr. Marlow'. Thus was born a legend. Although the poem was short, it proved both immensely popular and immensely influential. It gave rise to numerous responses, the most famous of which is Sir Walter Ralegh's “The Nymph's Reply to the Shepherd”, and it has been, and continues to be, extensively anthologised and imitated. (Lawrence Ferlinghetti wrote a fine response in the 1960s entitled “Come lie with me and be my love�…

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Hopkins, Lisa. "The Passionate Shepherd to his Love". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 17 January 2001
[, accessed 30 May 2015.]