Come Live with Me and Be My Love

Legendary Elizabethan dramatist and poet Christopher Marlow (1564 – 1593) was a contemporary of Will Shakespeare, and his life was shrouded in controversy. Whether Marlow was the “roguish rake” many critics claim is beside the point: this isn’t about authorial criticism. Though Marlow didn’t create it, he is known as the “father of English blank verse,” and he was a poetic genius. His work had a tremendous influence on Shakespeare’s work. See one of Marlow’s many online biographies posted on Poemhunter.com’s website.  

This missive is all about adaptation. “Come live with me and be my love” is the first line of Marlow’s “pastoral” lyric titled “The Passionate Shepherd to His Love.” The poem has been adapted in many ways over the years: around 1846, William Sterndale Bennett set the lyrics to a four-part madrigal; in 1995 the poem was adapted for the lyrics of a 1930s-style swing song in the 1995 motion picture Richard III, by Will Shakespeare (performed by singer Stacey Kent). The poem has even been adapted as a polka.

But this is my favorite adaptation, performed by the wonderful American singer Stacey Kent. The video includes music and scenes from the 1995 production of Shakespeare’s Richard III. The video is 5:42 minutes long, and the singing picks up at 2:15. It is a fantastic example of Renaissance art beautifully adapted for us moderns.  Enjoy:

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Third Week of Advent—Rejoice!

“Gaudete in Domino semper: iterum dico gaudete”–from the Latin Vulgate: ” Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice: Philippians 4:4.

Guadete

Earth’s darkness implodes

Light bursts forth; God becomes man

Guadete! Rejoice!

Follow the Lyrics:

Latin English
Gaudete, gaudete! Christus est natus
Ex Maria virgine, gaudete!
Rejoice, rejoice! Christ is born
Of the Virgin Mary — rejoice!
Tempus adest gratiæ
Hoc quod optabamus,
Carmina lætitiæ
Devote reddamus.
The time of grace has come—
This that we have desired,
Verses of joy
Let us devoutly return.
Deus homo factus est
Natura mirante,
Mundus renovatus est
A Christo regnante.
God has become man,
To the wonderment of Nature,
The world has been renewed
By the reigning Christ.
Ezechielis porta
Clausa pertransitur,
Unde lux est orta
Salus invenitur.
The closed gate of Ezechiel
Is passed through,
Whence the light is born,
Salvation is found.
Ergo nostra contio
Psallat iam in lustro;
Benedicat Domino:
Salus Regi nostro.
Therefore let our gathering
Now sing in brightness
Let it give praise to the Lord:
Greeting to our King.