"Come Live With Me, And Be My Love"

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Last Updated on January 19, 2017, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 157

Context: The poem of Christopher Marlowe "The Passionate Shepherd to His Love" inspired several ironic replies, including Raleigh's "The Nymph's Reply to the Shepherd" and this poem by Donne. Very neatly Donne changes the scene from the shepherd and his flock to a stream running over golden sand in which he and his mistress will fish with "silken lines, and silver hooks." But if his mistress should decide to swim in the river, the fish need not be angled for; they will amorously swim to her. Thus, other men suffer all the discomforts of fishing; his mistress need not do so. She, with her beauty, is her own bait, and any fish that can escape the lure is "wiser far" than the poet already caught by her. The poem begins:

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Come live with me, and be my love,
And we will some new pleasures prove,
Of golden sands, and crystal brooks,
With silken lines, and silver hooks.

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