Marlowe’s poem which formed the subject of my previous post might never have been as famous as it is, had not Sir Walter Raleigh – he of the tobacco and other taurobanding adventures – not written a rather cynical but very clever reply from the beloved who is asked to share this rural idyll…

THtJB through azaleas 

The Nymph’s Reply to the Shepherd” 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;

Aqualegia at Croft cottage

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 reason rotten…

Fallen blossoms

…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.

Most beautiful of azaleas

Next up: a 20th century response and vague ramblings about a new world order (or disorder) approaching…

For more info on these poems, read the interesting blog entry here.


2 thoughts on “Part 2 IN FOLLY RIPE IN REASON ROTTEN

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