Example: Why so pale and wan, fond love? Prithee, why so pale

Renaissance Poetry Test Format
Example: Why so pale
and wan, fond lover?
Prithee, why so pale?
Title: Song
Poet: John Suckling
• This poem by John Suckling, a cavalier poet,
demonstrates a favorite theme of Elizabethan
times—unrequited love. In this poem, the
speaker queries his friend, who displays the
conventional Petrarchan symptoms of a love-sick
man—paleness, weakness, muteness, dullness. It
ends in an ironic twist declaring that if the lover’s
suffering will not change the woman’s mind, then
she should go to the devil. This is a light-hearted
treatment of a theme that others such as Sidney
treated with a more serious tone.
If all the world and love were young
And truth in every shepherd’s tongue
These pretty pleasures might me move
To live with thee, and be thy love
Poem: The Nymph’s Reply to the
Poet: Sir Walter Raleigh
• This poem is a response to Christopher Marlowe’s
poem “The Passionate Shepherd to his Love.”
The original poem was an invitation to enjoy the
pleasures of nature with the shepherd, making
the poem a pastoral one. This response with the
nymph as the speaker is a negative one with the
theme that time destroys natural items. The
response is written in 4-line stanzas echoing the
original form in form and in subject.