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The poems “The Passionate Shepherd to His Love” by Christopher Marlowe (Delbanco 691-692) and “The Nymph’s Reply to the Shepherd” by Sir Walter Raleigh (Delbanco 989-990) answer each other. These two poems are about the good side of love. "The Passionate Shepherd to His Love" speaks about the passionate side of good love, the good love in the beginning of a relationship or the spring of life.  "The Nymph's Reply to the Shepherd" speaks of the good love in the winter of life, when the passion dies but friendship and kinship are still left.  The result is real long lasting good love.


            “The Passionate Shepherd to His Love” by Christopher Marlowe was published in 1599.  The shepherd is giving an invitation to be his love, a return to the free love of nature.  He describes a time in nature when everything  is new and starting to grow.  The shepherd is telling of all the wonderful parts of a new, passionate and seemingly perfect love.  He is willing to make sacrifices to make his love happy.  This is evident in the ending passage: “If these delights thy mind may move, Come live with me and be my love” (Marlowe 692).


            “The Nymph’s Reply to the Shepherd” by Sir Walter Raleigh was published in 1600.  This poem is the answer to the poem “The Passionate Shepherd to His Love”, and shows another side of love.  The nymph talks about the world were winter comes and we grow old.  She cannot be his love because she does not want to have love without the passion of new love.  If all the things the shepherd said were true forever then she would be his love.  She states, “But could youth last and love still breed, Had joys no date nor age no need” (Raleigh 990).  The nymph is also selfish in not considering the sacrifices of the shepherd is willing to make. She is looking at only the kind of love she wants. She is forgetting about the friendship and kinship that is left as a good love grows in the winter season of life.


            The two poets describe the two different sides of love, one the new passionate and romantic side.  New love where two lovers never want to part, are always touching and cannot wait to be with each other again.  The other poets side of love is showing what will be in the winter of love. I would like to think of the winter of love as being the natural progression of a true, mature and good love. The kind of love where two people are comfortable with each other, who understand the others needs without speaking a word.  Love goes through different phases to finally reach perfect real love, "until death do us part". 


          Looking at these two poems together, a person can see that  good love has many seasons in life. My argument is that “good love” is not only the beginning of passionate love but the path to long lasting love. All love has great times and rough patches.  It is what we do during those rough patches that make a love good or bad. In the winer of life when the romance and passion is gone, a good love will still have friendship, kinship and good love for each other.  

A Little Side Note

           One of the greatest examples I had of true love, was my parents.  They were married 60 years when my mother passed.  Through all of the good times and rough patches their love for each other was always evident for everyone to see.  They renewed their vows in 2001 and everyone in the church cried as they walked down the aisle holding hands.  Even on that special day, each one was more concerned about the other one.   They had a real love that went beyond the passion of new love.


Works Cited



Delbanco, Nicholas and Alan Cheruse. Literature Craft and Voice. Second Edition. New York: Mc Graw-Hill, 2012. Print.



Marlowe, Christopher. "The Passionate Shepherd to His Love." Literature Craft and Voice. Ed. Nicholas and Alan Cheuse Delbanco. Second. New York: McGraw-Hill, 2012. Print.



Raleigh, Sir Walter. "The Nymph's Reply to the Shepherd." Literature Voice and Craft. Ed. Nicholas and Alan Cheuse Delbanco. Second Edition. New York: McGraw-Hill, 2012. Print.



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