Live With Me -
Christopher Marlowe and Sir Walter Raleigh (last verse),
quoted by William Shakespeare
for low or medium voice and piano
with me, and be my love,
And we will all the pleasures prove
hills and valleys, dales and fields,
And all the craggy mountains
There will we sit upon the rocks,
And see the shepherds
feed their flocks,
By shallow rivers, by whose falls
There will I make thee a bed of roses,
thousand fragrant posies,
A cap of flowers, and a kirtle
all with leaves of myrtle.
A belt of straw and ivy buds,
coral clasps and amber studs;
And if these pleasures may thee move,
Then live with me and be my love.
If that the world and love were young,
And truth in every shepherd’s tongue,
These pretty pleasures might me
To live with thee and be thy love.
Sonnets to Sundry Notes of Music, V.
Emily Ezust informed me that "Shakespeare
was quoting a poem of Marlowe's, with one verse tacked on at the end from
Sir Walter Raleigh's poem of response, and as such is best attributed as:
Christopher Marlowe and Sir Walter Raleigh (last verse), quoted by William
Shakespeare in The Merry Wives of Windsor, Act 3, Scene 1." Artists
have often quoted others, and composers especially so in the use of melodies
as cantus firmus, as in themes for variations, or in parodies of
other works. Therefore the authorship of this lovely text might be "mixed,"
but the text and its sentiments are wonderful, nonetheless.
The song setting is one of lyricism, with
rubati suggested -- even encouraged -- in order to shape the music to
the performers' understanding of this sweet text. A chorale-like
accompaniment underpins the long melodic lines of the voice.
A center section dwells on the subdominant
for a while, wandering from region to imagine in music finding that "shelter
wherein to make a bed of roses." A running obbligato is the counterpoint to
the voice in the contrasting section of the setting.
The score for Live With Me is available as a free PDF
download, though any major commercial performance or recording of the work
is prohibited without prior arrangement with the composer. Click on the
graphic below for this piano-vocal score.