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In the poems The Passionate Shepherd to his Love by Christopher Marlowe

and Song by C. Day Lewis, the speakers display their individual views of

what can be expected with their love. Both speakers produce invitations

to love with differences in what they have to offer. A list of promised


delights is offered by the speaker in The Passionate Shepherd, and

through persuasion, is able to influence the emotions of his love. The

speaker in Song shows the difficulties of his life, as seen in his

economic necessity and lack of material pleasures, but subsequently

offers his love unconditionally in order to convince his beloved. In

comparison the poems expose the speakers use of separate methods to

influence their loves. Through comparing and contrasting the context in

which the invitations occur, what each speaker offers, and the tone of

each speaker, these differing methods can be understood. The Passionate

Shepherd is set in a romantic, natural backdrop in the seventeenth

century. In this rural setting the Shepherd displays his flock and

pastures to his love while promising her garlands and wool for weaving.

Many material goods are offered by the speaker to the woman he loves in

hopes of receiving her love in return. He also utilizes the power of

speech to attempt to gain the will of his love. In contrast, the poem

Song is set in what is indicative of a twentieth century depression,

with an urban backdrop that is characteristically unromantic. The speaker

handle(s) dainties on the docks (5) , showing that his work likely

consists of moving crates as a dock worker. He extends his affection

through the emphasis of his love and how it has endured and survived all

hardships. He uses the truth of his poor and difficult situation as a

tool to entice his love. In the Passionate Shepherd, the speaker

offers his lover a multitude of delights to persuade her emotions in his

favor. At the very beginning of the poem he states his intention that we

will all the pleasures prove () , creating a basis upon which all his

promises are centered. Using the natural setting of the poem as the

framework for this idealistic lifestyle, the speaker furnishes his love

through the use of natural objects such as clothes and accessories. He

describes A gown made of the finest wool / Which from our pretty lambs we

pull (1-14) and Fair lines slippers for the cold / With buckles of the

purest gold (15-16) to influence his loves decision. His gifts continue

with A belt of straw and ivy buds / With coral clasps and amber studs

(17-18) to soften her heart in his favor. Through these generous

offerings the speaker hopes to attract her with objects but in the process

fails to offer himself. This reveals his superficial attitude towards

women where by they can be manipulated with gifts and promises, and in

turn shows a sign of his possible sexual intentions. The speaker is

possibly trying to obscure his love long enough to take control and have

his way with her. This idea is reinforced in the line I will make thee a

bed of roses () , which contains underlying sexual connotations. These

intentions are masked in the speakers persuasive nature as he seduces his

love with romantic images of Melodious birds sing(ing) madrigals (8) .

It can also be observed that all the gifts which represent the speakers

love are all fabricated from nature, such as A cap of flowers, and a

kirtle / Embroidered all with leaves of myrtle (11-1) . Due to the fact

that all substances of nature eventually die, this could imply that as the

gifts will die so will his love for her. In comparison to the offering of

the speaker in Song, the shepherd appears to be insincere. The speaker

in Song does not try to impress his love with grandeur. He does not

proclaim the gifts he can give her but emphasizes that his love is

displayed through the hardships he endures. The speaker in this poem

simply offers his honesty. Like the speaker in The Passionate Shepherd,

this speaker will all the pleasures prove () . The difference being

that the speaker from Song offers it only on the chance that employment

may afford (it) (4) . The speaker in The Passionate Shepherd promises

to make A gown of the finest wool (1) , but the speaker in Song

promises that thou shalt read of summer frocks (dresses) (6) . This

demonstrates that the speaker offers what he can, and does not fabricate

stories about the way things will be. When he speaks of an evening by

the sour canals / Well hope to hear some madrigals (7-8) , he knows that

because of the pollution they will more that likely hear the songs of

seagulls, boats, horns, and obscenities. When the speaker says Care on

thy maidens brow shall put / A wreath of wrinkles, and thy foot / Be shod

with pain not silken dress / But toil shall tire thy loveliness (-1) ,

he gives an indirect compliment to her beauty while emphasizing that love

requires work. Despite the absence of material objects, he still tries to

be romantic. When the speaker says, Hunger shall make thy modest zone

(waist) / And cheat fond death of all but bone (1-14) he means that she

will be thin not through intent, but through necessity. The different

emphasis on what constitutes love for the speakers of the two poems is

very evident. One offers hopes, dreams, objects, and material goods while

the other offers reality. Love exists in both, but the reasons for that

love are dramatically different. The speaker in The Passionate Shepherd

desires physical love full of promises and the speaker in Song desires

an enduring love that will exist through hard times. It is easy to be

blinded by gifts and romance but the love that is truthful will last much

longer. Considering the motives of the speaker in The Passionate

Shepherd, enables the reader to determine the tone of the poem because it

is conveyed in his attitude towards his love. He has a false sense of

romance because he thinks love means manipulating affections through

offering gifts but his affections can be considered falsely romantic. In

the line If these delights thy mind may move (15) the speaker in Song

asks his love to think about their love and everything that it includes,

whereas in The Passionate Shepherd, the speaker asks about what she

thinks of the gifts he gave her. The speakers tone in The Passionate

Shepherd is aimed at what he believes she would like to hear. In stark

contrast, the speaker in Song is realistic about what his affection

would entail. He wants to convey to his love that his affections are

unconditional and does not want her to be blinded by promises of objets.

One could mistake the speaker in Song as a pessimist whose attitude

towards romance is dull, but his honesty demonstrates a greater knowledge

of what real love is. Through comparing the speakers in Song and The

Passionate Shepherd, two methods for influencing love are explored. The

poems context, content, and tone provide a deeper insight into the

different ways love can be enticed. The poems contrast truth and promises

while the speakers demonstrate the diminishing power of words and objects,

and the increasing effect of truthfulness as the means to achieve true

love. By contrasting the poems, the reader is convinced that truthfulness

rather than spoken promises is the most effective means of achieving true

love. C. Day Lewis (15-17) Song Come, live with me and be

my love, And we will all the pleasures prove Of peace and plenty, bed

and board, That chance employment may afford. Ill handle dainties on

the docks And thou shalt read of summer frocks At evening by the sour

canals Well hope to hear some madrigals. Care on thy maiden brow

shall put A wreath of wrinkles, and thy foot Be shod with pain not

silken dress But toil shall tire thy loveliness. Hunger shall make thy

modest zone And cheat fond death of all but bone - If these delights thy

mind may move, Then live with me and be my love.

Lewis, C. Day. Two Songs. () Poems of C. Day Lewis 15-17. Ed.

Jonathan Cape. London Hogarth Press, 177. 0. Marlowe,

Christopher. The Passionate Shepherd to his Love. The Broadview

Anthology of Poetry. Eds. Herbert Rosengarten and Amanda

Goldrick-Jones. Peterborough Broadview Press, 1. 414.

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