Feb. 6, 2001

The Passionate Shepherd to His Love

by Christopher Marlowe

TUESDAY, 6 February 2001
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Poem: "The Passionate Shepherd to His Love," by Christopher Marlowe.

The Passionate Shepherd to His Love

Come live with me and be my love,
And we will all the pleasures prove
That valleys, groves, hills, and fields,
Woods, or steepy mountain yields.

And we will sit upon the rocks,
Seeing the shepherds feed their flocks
By shallow rivers, to whose falls
Melodious birds sing madrigals.

And I will make thee beds of roses
And a thousand fragrant posies;
A cap of flowers and a kirtle
Embroidered all with leaves of myrtle;

A gown made of the finest wool
Which from our pretty lambs we pull;
Fair linèd slippers for the cold,
With buckles of the purest gold;

A belt of straw and ivy buds,
With coral clasps and amber studs.
And if these pleasures may thee move,
Come live with me and be my love.

The shepherds' swains shall dance and sing
For thy delight each May morning.
If these delights thy mind may move,
Then live with me and be my Love.

It's the birthday of television anchorman Tom Brokaw, born in Webster, South Dakota (1940). He was NBC's Washington correspondent during the Watergate scandal, then became anchor of the NBC Nightly News. In 1984 he visited Normandy to prepare a documentary on the fortieth anniversary of the D-Day landings. That trip, and a return visit ten years later, inspired his first book, The Greatest Generation.

It's the birthday of film director François Truffaut, born in Paris (1932). His parents didn't want him around, and he spent his childhood with his grandmother, forgetting his loneliness through books and movies. He estimates that he watched about two thousand movies between his tenth and fifteenth birthdays. He and a friend formed a cinema-club, and he became a writer for the French film magazine Cahiers du Cinéma. His first feature film, The 400 Blows, was followed by Shoot the Piano Player, Jules and Jim, and many others.

It's the birthday of Ronald Reagan, 40th president of the United States, born in Tampico, Illinois (1911). His father was a Democrat and heavy drinker, while his mother was sweet-tempered and a theater lover. Reagan got a job as a sportscaster covering the Chicago Cubs, and, in 1937, he was discovered by a Hollywood scout while on Catalina Island for the Cubs' spring training. A few years later he starred in Knute Rockne—All American, as the doomed football hero, George Gipp. He turned Republican in 1962, and won the governorship of California in 1966. He ran for president in 1976 and lost; but he won in 1980, and won a second term in 1984 by a landslide.

It's the birthday of baseball great George Herman Ruth, better known as Babe Ruth, born in Baltimore, Maryland (1895). He was also called "The Bambino" and "The Sultan of Swat," because of his legendary prowess at bat. But the record he was most proud of was the 29 and 2/3 consecutive scoreless innings that he pitched for the Boston Red Sox in two World Series.

It's the birthday of playwright Christopher Marlowe, born in Canterbury, England (1564). His plays include Tamburlaine the Great (1590), Dr. Faustus (1604), The Jew of Malta (1633), and Edward II (1594). He was stabbed to death at the age of 29 at a brothel in Deptford. The circumstances of his death have never been explained: it may have resulted from a quarrel over a bill, or it may have been a political assassination. He undoubtedly collaborated with many of his contemporaries, including Shakespeare, but on which plays and to what extent, nobody can be sure.

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