Verble says: It's a triptych, a triad, a trinity, a triune! Sometimes you just have to sit down and contrast and compare. Today on the menu we've got Christopher Marlowe's "A Passionate Shepherd to his Love" then, Sir Walter Raleigh's sarcastic response, "The Nymph's Reply" and then we top it all off with Dorothy Parker's ability to rip off BOTH guys and make them look just plain silly, with her sardonic take on not only the poem and poetical structure, but also to use it to shred the conceit of mid-twentieth century psychoanalysis.
You know, the only thing that would make it all perfect would be if Marlowe's original were read as some sort of torrid inside joke. But then,, he wasn't Lewis Carroll, now, was he?
THE PASSIONATE SHEPHERD TO HIS
| OME live with me, and be my love;
And we will all the pleasures prove
That hills and
valleys, dales and fields,
Woods, or steepy mountain yields.
will sit upon the rocks,
Seeing the shepherds feed their flocks
shallow rivers, to whose falls
Melodious birds sing madrigals.
will make thee beds of roses
And a thousand fragrant posies;
A cap of
flowers, and a kirtle
Embroidered all with leaves of myrtle;
made of the finest wool
Which from our pretty lambs we pull;
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.
shepherd-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
Sir Walter Raleigh
THE NYMPH'S REPLY TO THE
| F all the world and love were young,
And truth in every shepherd's tongue,
pleasures might me move
To live with thee and be thy love.
drives the flocks from field to fold,
When rivers rage and rocks grow
And Philomel becometh dumb;
The rest complains of cares to come.
The flowers do fade, and wanton fields
To wayward winter reckoning
A honey tongue, a heart of gall,
Is fancy's spring, but sorrow's
The 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.
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
with thee and be thy love.
The Passionate Freudian to His Love
Only name the day, and we'll fly away
In the face of old traditions,
To a sheltered spot, by the world forgot,
Where we'll park our inhibitions.
Come and gaze in eyes where the lovelight lies
As it psychoanalyzes,
And when once you glean what your fantasies mean
Life will hold no more surprises.
When you've told your love what you're thinking of
Things will be much more informal;
Through a sunlit land we'll go hand-in-hand,
Drifting gently back to normal.
While the pale moon gleams, we will dream sweet dreams,
And I'll win your admiration,
For it's only fair to admit I'm there
With a mean interpretation.
In the sunrise glow we will whisper low
Of the scenes our dreams have painted,
And when you're advised what they symbolized
We'll begin to feel acquainted.
So we'll gaily float in a slumber boat
Where subconscious waves dash wildly;
In the stars' soft light, we will say good-night—
And “good-night!” will put it mildly.
Our desires shall be from repressions free—
As it's only right to treat them.
To your ego's whims I will sing sweet hymns,
And ad libido repeat them.
With your hand in mine, idly we'll recline
Amid bowers of neuroses,
While the sun seeks rest in the great red west
We will sit and match psychoses.
So come dwell a while on that distant isle
In the brilliant tropic weather;
Where a Freud in need is a Freud indeed,
We'll always be Jung together.
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