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renelane eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The poem is meant to persuade a woman to enter into a sexual affair. There is no talk of eternal love or marriage, merely the request to "come live with me, be my love."

The poet promises her the ultimate pleasures, which appear to be sexual in nature. The settings that he describesare meant to appeal to her sense of beauty-most are out of doors, green fields and flowers.

The poet promises her his undivided attention, as well. He says that he will get others to tend to his sheep, while they enjoy each other and all the pleasures that nature has to offer.

He also promises to clothe her, and in the most luxurious fabrics. It is an all out pitch to seduce her, more than an attempt to woo her into a long term romance. There is only talk of satisfying the pleasures of the present, not talk of a  lifetime.

amy-lepore eNotes educator| Certified Educator

He promises her all things that are temporary.  The things he offers are of Spring and Summer only--all things that will wilt, die, fall apart.  Like the "come live with me and be my love" says nothing of permant commitment, he offers nothing of substance.  It is no wonder that in her reply she denies his advances. 

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The Passionate Shepherd to His Love

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