³The Nymph¶s Reply to the Shepherd´ is Sir Walter Raleigh¶s response to a poem written by Christopher Marlowe, ³The Passionate

Shepherd to His Love.´ In the Marlowe poem, the shepherd proposes to his beloved by portraying their ideal future together: a life filled with earthly pleasures in a world of eternal spring.

Raleigh¶s reply, however, debunks the shepherd¶s fanciful vision. While Marlowe¶s speaker promises nature¶s beauty and a litany of gifts, Raleigh¶s nymph responds that such promises could only remain valid ³if all the world and love were young.´ Thus, she introduces the concepts of time and change.

The speaker in "The Passionate Shepherd to His Love" is a young shepherd who proposes a passionate love affair to the girl he desires. He uses nature largely to appeal to her senses. He tells her they will sit and watch.

Both Marlowe and Raleigh were excellent poets and show it in both "The Passionate Shepherd" and "The Nymph's Reply". Raleigh's reply, however, cleverly bends Marlowe's images, ideas, and metrics into a more sober and mature outlook than the shepherd's dreamy infatuation.

A parody is a poem that imitates another poem closely but changes details for a comic or critical effect. Poems like these may have all the serious purpose, but their method is comic and usually light. And fun is not always easy to explain intellectually or to demonstrate.

Sir Walter Raleigh (1552?-1618), English adventurer and writer, who was prominent at the court of Queen Elizabeth I, and became an explorer of the Americas

So the heart be right, it is no matter which way the head lies.
Walter Raleigh (1554 - 1618) British explorer, courtier, and writer, 1618. On being asked which way he preferred to lay his head on the executioner's block.

The world itself is but a large prison, out of which some are daily led to execution.
Attributed to Walter Raleigh (1554 - 1618) British explorer, courtier, and writer, 1603. Said when returning to prison after his trial for treason.

We could not lead a pleasant life, And 'twould be finished soon, If peas were eaten with the knife, And gravy with the spoon. Eat slowly: only men in rags And gluttons old in sin Mistake themselves for carpet bags And tumble victuals in. - The Shepherd·s Description of Love

1. reply 2. nymph 3. fold

- respond to what somebody says - woman; a beautiful woman - an enclosed area where sheep or other livestock can be kept 4. rage - sudden or extreme anger 5. wayward - disobedient and uncontrollable 6. reckoning ² regard somebody or something something 7. gall - a feeling or bitterness or resentment 8. wither - to fade or lose freshness and vitality

The Nymph's Reply to the Shepherd poem by Sir Walter Raleigh

If 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.

Thy gowns, thy shoes, thy beds of roses, Thy cap, thy kirtle, and thy posies Soon break, soon wither, soon forgotten In folly ripe, in season 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.

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