by Christopher Marlowe (1564 - 1593)
Translation © by Walter A. Aue

Come live with me and be my Love
Language: English 
Available translation(s): GER
Come live with me and be my Love,
And we will all the pleasures prove
That [hills and valleys, dale and field]1,
[And all the craggy mountains yield]2.

[There will we]3 sit upon the rocks
[And see]4 the shepherds feed their flocks,
[By shallow rivers, to whose falls
Melodious birds sing madrigals]5.6

There will I make thee beds of roses
[And]7 a thousand fragrant posies,
[A cap of flowers, and a kirtle
Embroider'd all with leaves of myrtle.]5

A gown made of the finest wool
Which from our pretty lambs we pull,
Fair linèd slippers for the cold,
[With]8 buckles of the purest gold.

A [belt]9 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.

Thy silver dishes for thy meat
As precious as the gods do eat,
Shall on an ivory table be
Prepared each day for thee and me.

[The shepherd swains shall dance and sing
For thy delight each May-morning:]5
If these delights thy mind may move,
Then live with me and be my Love.

W. Bennett sets stanzas 1-3, 7
H. Bishop sets stanzas 1-2, 7
W. Mayer sets stanzas 1-2, 7

About the headline (FAQ)

View original text (without footnotes)

Confirmed with The Golden Treasury, Francis T. Palgrave, ed., 1875.

See Raleigh's famous response, The nymph's reply to the shepherd.

See also the parody by Archibald Stodart-Walker.

1 Bennett, Bishop, Goldmark: "hill and valley, dale and field" ; Mayer: "valleys, groves, hills, and fields"
2 Mayer: "Woods, or steepy mountain yields"
3 Goldmark: "There we shall"; Mayer: "And we will"
4 Goldmark: "And watch"; Mayer: "Seeing"
5 omitted by Bishop.
6 Bennett inserts here "And if these pleasures may thee move,/ Then live with me and be my love." (from later in the poem)
7 Bennett, Bishop: "With"
8 Goldmark: "And"
9 Goldmark: "bed"


Musical settings (art songs, Lieder, mélodies, (etc.), choral pieces, and other vocal works set to this text), listed by composer (not necessarily exhaustive)

Set in a modified version by Vivian Fine, Ernest John Moeran, Peter Warlock, Samuel Webbe.

Another version of this text exists in the database.

Settings in other languages, adaptations, or excerpts:

  • Also set in English, adapted by Cecil Day Lewis (1904 - 1972) , "Come, live with me and be my love", a parody [an adaptation] ; composed by Edward Gregson.

Other available translations, adaptations or excerpts, and transliterations (if applicable):

  • GER German (Deutsch) [singable] (Walter A. Aue) , "Der feurige Schäfer zu seiner Liebsten", copyright © 2010, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • GER German (Deutsch) (Adolf von Marées) , "Der Schäfer an sein Lieb"

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

This text was added to the website between May 1995 and September 2003.
Line count: 28
Word count: 185

Der feurige Schäfer zu seiner Liebsten
Language: German (Deutsch)  after the English 
Komm, leb' mit mir und werde mein
und alle Freud' wird unser sein,
die Täler, Hügel, Wald und Feld
und steiler Berg bereit uns hält.

Am Felsen sitzend schauen wir
der Schäfer Herden, weidend hier
am sanftem Fluß, zu dessen Fall
Singvögel zirpen Madrigal.

Und ich mach' Dir ein Bett von Rosen
mit duftenden Bouquets zum Kosen,
die Blumenhaub', der Rock zum Gürten
bedeckt mit Stickerei von Myrthen;

Gewand aus feinster Woll' gemacht,
von hübschen Lämmern dargebracht;
verbrämte Schühlein, warm und hold,
mit Spangen aus dem reinsten Gold;

ein Gurt von Stroh und Efeuzweig,
an Bernstein und Korallen reich:
Wenn diese Gaben Dich erfreu'n,
dann leb' mit mir und werde mein!

Der Schäfer Tanz vertreibt Dir Sorgen
und freut im Mai Dich jeden Morgen:
Soll solche Freud' Dein eigen sein,
dann leb' mit mir und werde mein!


  • Singable translation from English to German (Deutsch) copyright © 2010 by Walter A. Aue, (re)printed on this website with kind permission. To reprint and distribute this author's work for concert programs, CD booklets, etc., you must ask the copyright-holder(s) directly for permission. If you receive no response, you must consider it a refusal.

    Walter A. Aue.  Contact: waue (AT) dal (DOT) ca

    If you wish to commission a new translation, please contact:

Based on


This text was added to the website: 2010-03-26
Line count: 24
Word count: 137