“ The Nymph’s Reply to the Shepherd”
The poem “The Nymph’s Reply to the Shepherd”, is a look into the mind of a realistic (or some may even say pessimistic) person. It was written as a response to the more idealistic poem, “ The Passionate Shepherd to His Love”, by Christopher Marlowe. “The Passionate Shepherd…” is the story of a man trying to convince the lady he loves to spend the rest of her life with him. He describes the happiness that will surround them and the beauty they will live with the rest of their lives, “ The shepherd swains shall dance and sing For thy delight each May morning-”. The theme of the poem is essentially to woo the shepherd’s love to come live with him. Many responses were written to this poem, but the most famous came from Sir Walter Raleigh. Raleigh wrote “The Nymph’s Reply to the Shepherd”. Sir Walter Raleigh actually became famous for colonizing the Americas and for being the founder of a settlement in Virginia. With this response to Marlowe’s poem he also became a poet. He wrote the best response to Marlowe’s idealistic shepherd.
In the first stanza the nymph (otherwise known as the shepherd’s lov
" A honey tongue, a heart of gall, Is fancy"tms spring, but sorrow"tms fall. Personification is also used to make the images clearer. Therefore, it makes for a very enjoyable reading experience for the audience. If their youth and their youthful stage of love could last forever, and it was certain that their joy would never die; these offers would move her to changing her mind. This argument is stated wonderfully through the imagery and language used in the poem. Stanzas three through five continue the nymph"tms description of what would really occur, if she lived with him. This point of view also helps to understand " The Passionate Shepherd to His Love". Everything he offered her such as a belt made of straws and ivy buds, coral clasps, and ivory studs, could not convince her to spend her life with him. The rivers would grow to be more violent and smash against the rocks, instead of flowing gently. She basically states that she would spend the rest of her life with him, if all that he said were true. In "The Nymph"tms Reply"" the images used let the reader almost see what this nymph is talking about. She says that if their love would always stay young, and their world would never change then she would gladly spend the rest of her life with him. The second stanza begins by saying that in time the flocks of sheep would leave the field. e) begins to state an argument against the shepherd"tms views.