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APART from the translation of Ovid's Elegies, the only lyric poems which can reasonably be attributed to Marlowe are the two here printed. It is not unlikely that others may have perished or may still exist in some of the anonymous miscellanies of the Elizabethan age.

The famous song of 'The passionate Shepherd to his love' has come down to us in four different versions, none of which seems to be entirely accurate. I follow that given in the popular anthology, England's Helicon (1600),1 but print, of course, all the variant readings in the notes. The text of the recently discovered Thornborough Commonplace Book (MS.) is very interesting and probably corrects the printed versions in one or two particulars, though it was almost certainly written down from memory. There is no evidence for the date of this poem, except that it would seem to be older than the parody of it in The Jew of Malla.2

The fragment printed on page 552 occurs on p. 480 f. of England's Parnassus. Nothing further is known of it. Mr. Charles Crawford has evolved the theory that Marlowe wrote a long poem in imitation of 'Come live with me', of which this fragment is the only extant portion, and that the poem so written was later drawn upon for descriptive material in Dido and other plays. The fragment begins one of the divisions in which the editor of England's Parnassus (1600) groups his selections, and the heading' Description of Seas, Waters, Riuers, &c.' refers naturally to the entire group and not to the individual poem.

1 Signatures (A a 1o) and A a 2.

3 Cf. Collectanea, First Series, 1906, pp. 1-16.

2 Cf. p. 289, 7. 1816.

The passionate Sheepheard to his loue.

Come liue with mee, and be my loue,
And we will all the pleasures proue,
That Vallies, groues, hills and fieldes,
Woods, or steepie mountaine yeeldes.

And wee will sit vpon the Rocks,
Seeing the Sheepheards feede theyr flocks
By shallow Riuers, to whose falls
Melodious byrds sings Madrigalls.

And I will make thee beds of Roses,
And a thousand fragrant poesies,
A cap of flowers, and a kirtle,
Imbroydred all with leaues of Mirtle.

A gowne made of the finest wooll,
Which from our pretty Lambes we pull,
Fayre lined slippers for the cold,
With buckles of the purest gold.

A belt of straw and Iuie buds,
With Corall clasps and Amber studs,
And if these pleasures may thee moue,
Come liue with mee, and be my loue.

The Sheepheards Swaines shall daunce & sing
For thy delight each May-morning.
If these delights thy minde may moue,
Then liue with mee, and be my loue.





Chr. Marlow.


The passionate Sheepheard to his loue.



Title The passionate Sheepheard to his loue E.H.: om. P.P., MS. : The Milk maids Song C.A. I Come om. P.P. 3 Vallies, groues] hilles and vallies P.P.: hills and E.H.: dales and P.P.: or hils, or C.A.: and woodes or MS. 4 Woods, or steepie E.H. And all the craggy P.P.: and craggie Rockes or MS.: mountains P.P., C.A., MS. yeeld P.P. 5 And E.H.: There P.P.: Where C.A., MS. 6 Seeing] And see P.P., C.A., MS. theyr] our C.A. 7 to] by P.P. 8 sing P.P., C.A. And I will] There will I P.P.: Where wee MS. P.P., MS. 10 And E.H. thousand] thowsande other MS. 1. 20 MS. 14 pretty] little MS. E.H.: Slippers lin'd choicely C.A. And.. thee] if theise delightes thy mynde may MS. 20 Come] Then P.P., MS. Before 1. 21 MS. add. the stanza: Thy dyshes shal be filde with meate | such as the gods do use to eate shall one and everye table bee | preparde eache daye for thee and mee 21-24 om. P.P. 21 shepparde MS. faire MS. Finis and signature om.

beds] a bed With P.P.: And then C.A. a 13-16 om. P.P.: follows 15 Fayre lined slippers

17 and] with MS.

P.P., C.A., MS.


22 May]

(E.H. P.P.



Version of the poem in England's Helicon, 1600. Version of the poem in The Passionate Pilgrim, 1599. Version of the poem in Walton's Compleat Angler, 1653. Version of the poem in Thornborough Commonplace Book, quoted by Ingram, Christopher Marlowe and his Associates, 1904, p. 222, 225.)

Description of Seas, Waters,

Riuers, &c.

I walkt along a streame for purenesse rare,
Brighter then sun-shine, for it did acquaint
The dullest sight with all the glorious pray,
That in the pibble paued chanell lay.
No molten Christall, but a richer mine,
Euen natures rarest alchumie ran there,
Diamonds resolud, and substance more diuine,
Through whose bright gliding current might appeare
A thousand naked Nymphes, whose yuorie shine,
Enameling the bankes, made them more deare
Then euer was that glorious Pallas gate,
Where the day-shining sunne in triumph sate.
Vpon this brim the Eglantine and Rose,
The Tamoriscke, Oliue, and the Almond tree,
As kind companions in one vnion growes,
Folding their twindring armes as oft we see
Turtle-taught louers either other close,
Lending to dulnesse feeling Sympathie.
And as a costly vallance ore a bed,

So did their garland tops the brooke orespred :
Their leaues that differed both in shape and showe,
(Though all were greene) yet difference such in greene,
Like to the checkered bent of Iris bowe,

Prided the running maine as it had beene

Ch. Marlowe.

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Early editions. Marlowe's translation of the Elegies of Ovid survives in at least six early editions. All are undated and all claim-with probable untruth-to have been printed at Middleburgh in Holland. There is no mention of the work in the Stationers' Register, and, indeed, none could be expected, for everything indicates that it was published surreptitiously and with the express disapprobation of the authorities. Copies of one edition. were publicly burned at Stationers' Hall on June 4, 1599, by order of the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Bishop of London.1

In the absence of all the usual criteria for date and provenance, it is a matter of some difficulty to distinguish the various editions from one another and to decide the question of their sequence. The six which I have been able to identify fall into three groups. Two (Ish. and Bind.) are incomplete; they represent a mere selection from the elegies. Two others (Mal. 368 and Mal. 133) are shown by their typography, in such matters, for example, as the use of 'u' and v', to be half a century later than Marlowe's time; these editions, which can hardly have been printed earlier than 1640, are practically of no value whatever. Two other versions (Mas. and Douce) give a complete text and appear to date from the close of the sixteenth century. It has generally been assumed that the abridged editions (Ish., Bind.), containing only ten of the most licentious. elegies, are more ancient than the others, but we have no proof of this. As far as the evidence at hand goes, they may equally well be cheap pirated reprints of such portions of the work as would find readiest acceptance among the vulgar. All the texts are marred by the numerous blunders which one would expect to find in hasty and surreptitious

Cf. Arber, Transcript Stationers' Register, iii. 677-8. The wrath of the authorities appears to have been directed rather against Davies's Epigrams than against the Elegies themselves.

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