The Shepherd and The Nymph
Sir Walter Raleigh's "The Nymph's Reply to the Shepherd" is a companion poem to Christopher Marlowe's "The Passionate Shepherd to His Love". In "
In the first stanza, the nymph is saying that if she was younger and didn't know much about the world, then maybe the shepherd's promises of enjoying the simple pleasures and beauty found in valleys and fields and nature in general would be enough to convince her that she should come and live with him. With her words stating "And truth in every shepherd's tongue", the nymph seems to question the true motives behind the shepherd's promises. She questions whether he wants her to be his forever as his wife, or just until he gets tired of her as his mistress.
In the second stanza, the nymph tells of how things and feelings often change with the passage of time. Warm and happy times grow into cold and unpleasant times; the shepherd's love dulls, fades, and eventually dies. The sheep return to their pens, the river does not stay serene...