The Nymph’s Reply to the Shepherd

Well, I once again felt like reading poetry. Not that that feeling is something special, but I came across this wonderful poem which I liked that much that I decided share it with you.

Now frankly I do not think that many people care. But some might… So here we go:

The Nymph’s Reply to the Shepherd by Sir Walter Ralegh

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, they 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,
to live with thee and be thy love.

One thought on “The Nymph’s Reply to the Shepherd

  1. Kip Watson

    I haven’t read this for years.

    It’s a subtle poem, I get more out of it now.

    Sad nymph, what would she know of love, she’s not even human! Poor, cynical, immortal nymph. Let’s not see the world with her eyes…

    It reminds me of Tolkein. When he says humans cannot be granted immortality, because mortality is a precious gift, and the Infinite One will not rob them of it!


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