Saturday

Jun. 15, 2002

The Passionate Shepherd to His Love

by Christopher Marlowe

SATURDAY, 15 JUNE 2002
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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-lined 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 shepherd 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 writer Dava Sobel, born in New York City (1947). She worked as a science reporter for the New York Times in the early Eighties, then collaborated with her former husband, Arthur Klein, on several books about arthritis and back pain. She hit the bestseller lists with Longitude: The True Story of a Lone Genius Who Solved the Greatest Scientific Problem of His Time (1995). She followed it up with Galileo's Daughter: A Historical Memoir of Science, Faith, and Love (1999).

It's the birthday of poet Amy Clampitt, born in New Providence, Iowa (1920). She grew up on an Iowa farm and graduated from Grinnell College. She left college with two goals: to get a job in publishing and to live near the ocean. She ended up in New York, working first as a secretary at Oxford University Press, and later as an editor for E.P. Dutton. Her first published poem appeared in The New Yorker in 1978, when she was fifty-eight years old. Her first collection of poetry, The Kingfisher, was published to great critical acclaim in 1983.

It's the birthday of English author Rev. Wilbert Vere Awdry, born in Romsey, Hampshire (1911). He's known as the creator of the popular Railway Series of children's stories. His father was the vicar of a parish which included many railway men. He knew so much about railroads himself that he became known as "the Railwayman Parson." Young Wilbert grew up listening to the trains struggling up the hill near his home, imagining that they were talking to themselves. Later, when he had a child of his own, he began to make up stories about trains, giving them names and voices and personalities. The first stories were about a little blue locomotive named "Thomas the Tank Engine."

It's the birthday of psychologist Erik Erikson, born in Frankfurt, Germany (1902). He was a pioneer in the study of the human life cycle, arguing that each stage in life is associated with a specific psychological struggle that helps build the individual personality. His great contribution to the lingo of psychology was the term "identity crisis," which he coined. He made his reputation with the book Childhood and Society (1950).

It's the birthday of Norwegian composer Edvard Grieg, born in Bergen, Norway (1843). Grieg lived a busy life as a composer, conductor, and piano soloist throughout Europe. Early in his career, he was taken under the wing of the great Norwegian violin virtuoso Ole Bull, who shared with Grieg his love of Norwegian folk melodies. That love later inspired many of Grieg's best-known pieces, including the incidental music for Ibsen's Peer Gynt, the Lyric Pieces, and the Norwegian Dances. He wrote the big, full-bodied Piano Concerto in A Minor, but he made his reputation primarily with smaller pieces, full of Norwegian character.

It's the birthday of illustrator Hablot Knight Browne, better known as "Phiz," born in Lambeth, near London (1815) (note: it is sometimes assumed he was born on June 11). In 1836, while Charles Dickens' The Pickwick Papers was still appearing in serial form, its illustrator committed suicide. As Dickens was casting about for a successor, he met the twenty-one year old Browne, who applied for the position. Dickens quickly chose him over his chief competitor, a young writer and caricaturist named William Makepeace Thackeray. Since Dickens was using the pen name "Boz," Browne chose to work under the name "Phiz." He went on to illustrate not only Pickwick, but also David Copperfield, Dombey and Son, Martin Chuzzlewit, Bleak House, and other Dickens novels.


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