The promise of a simple love

This week we delved into the poem “The Passionate Shepherd to His Love” by Christopher Marlowe. Here, the shepherd wishes to woo the nymph by promising her an array of delights. However, the nymph believes the shepherd has a way with words, and that he is unable to fulfil his promises to her. None of the promised delights he mentions are permanent and are all bound to die, fade away or lose their value over time. In my poem “The promise of a simple love”, I highlight the transient nature of the Shepherd’s promises and the reasons why the nymph chose to reject the proposal. She requires a simple love that doesn’t include materialistic goods but rather, prefers the notion of an intense, secure and long-lasting love.


The promise of a simple love


Oh, daft shepherd the way you choose to twirl your tongue,

To promise me everything but leave me with none.

Do you think of me a dunce, a prat, a fool?

One who dotes on a gown made of the finest wool?


I do not care for your gown, your gold, or buds,

Nor do I fancy coral clasps and amber studs.

If you chose to listen and occasionally enquire,

You’d understand my heart and all I desire.


I do wish to fall for your ocean eyes,

But how can I dear Shepherd? When all I hear are your woven lies.

I wish I could say yes, take a breath and be brave,

To share a love so intense, we’d take it to the grave.


But I yearn for a soul that speaks the same language as mine,

Where I feel at peace and secure as our hands intertwine.

We would share words that have been felt by no one else’s ears,

We would cry, we would laugh, sharing both joyous and pained tears.


The riddle of love is a puzzle no one can solve,

Some find it when they’re young, and others when they’re old.

Some search for years but never find the one,

Others fall in love with themselves and find they’re happy with none.


Your proposals speak wonders that’ll entrance someone else,

But make me realise dear shepherd, I prefer the company of myself.

I hope one day you find the love you so crave,

A love so intense, it’ll take you both to the grave.



4 thoughts on “The promise of a simple love

  1. This is fabulous Lili! It speaks volumes about the nature of love, its positive and negative sides. Most importantly it reads really well. The rhythm and the word sounds and meanings help the poem come alive. Well done! More please!

    Editing Needed (and some workshop follow-ups- see Purdue Owl for help:
    * the Shepherds promises = the Shepherd’s promises [ the promises BELONG to the Shepherd….. see ‘s or s’ – Apostrophe- if there is a meaning of ownership ( the boy’s apple/ the boys’ apples) then you need an apostrophe. See But don’t use apostrophe s for normal plurals!!!]

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi Lili!

    This was a fantastic read! I had a similar response to the Shepherd’s attempt at winning over the nymph’s love and it was great to see an empowering response to the somewhat disagreeable and material based idea of attracting the nymph. This piece was very enjoyable and was filled so many layered metaphors and a smooth and easy to follow rhythm.

    I do wish to fall for your ocean eyes,

    But how can I dear Shepherd? When all I hear are your woven lies.

    I love this line as it encapsulates the materialistic ideology of love that The Shepherd possesses, particularly through the use of the word ‘woven’. It reminds your reader of the fabrication of promises made by the shepherd that accompanies his manufactured gifts.

    The final stanza of the poem reminds the reader of the mortality of love and its ability to fade unless it is pure and strong. This is a very powerful message that allows your reader to sparks further thought within the poem and continue to think after reading which is a difficult task to achieve.

    A real sense of love shines through this poem which, for me, was unlike the original. This is great work Lili!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Hi Lili!
    This piece is fantastic! I would first like to commend you on the introduction to the poem as it gives the reader the background knowledge they need to truly appreciate what is to come. The piece you have written flows eloquently and no image you included feeling out of place. With the use of rhetorical questions you made it inclusive for the reader. I am dazzled by the choice of words and how well they work together. You describe the love you desire in a way that would make anyone feel awestruck.
    One minor thing I can comment on for improvement is a second proof read, to avoid grammatical errors such as “the Shepherds promises”.
    Well done! I can’t wait to see what else you have in store.

    Liked by 1 person

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