Alison R Reed (also writing as Marianna Bell and Michael N Allison)

With apologies to Christopher Marlowe ...

Come Live with me and be my Love


Come live with me and be my love

And we will all the pleasures prove

That hills and valleys, dales and fields

Or woods or steepy mountain yields


And we will sit upon the rocks,

And see the shepherds feed their flocks

By shallow rivers, to whose falls

Melodious birds sing madrigals.


And I will make thee beds of roses

And a thousand fragrant posies;

A cap of flowers and a kirtle

Embroider'd all with leaves of myrtle


A gown made of the finest wool

Which from our pretty lambs we pull;

Fair lined slippers for the cold,

With buckles of the purest gold.


A belt of straw and ivy-buds

With coral clasps and amber studs:

And if these pleasure may thee move

Come live with me and be my Love


The shepherd swains shall dance and sing

For thy delight each May morning

If these delights thy mind may move

Then live with me and be my Love.



Yes, Christopher, it is all very well me coming and living with you but if we move into the country and cavort in the hills and valleys, dales and fields, as you suggest, where's the money going to come from?  We can't live on fresh air in this day and age.  Sooner or later, one or other of us will have to go to work and commuting to Birmingham is a nightmare, especially if you have to use the M6! 


Now, would I be right in assuming you've never heard of flat packs?  Your idea about sitting on rocks is not really a very good one.  They're very cold and bring on piles and out in the middle of nowhere, you'll have the dickens of a job trying to get enrolled with a doctor.  Assuming they can fit you in, you'll have to waddle to the surgery with your hemorrhoids, and I won't be able to drive you - I'll be too busy trying to remove the thorns from my derriere which I've got from the bed of roses that you felt like making for me in a fit of sheer romanticism.  A 'Sleepeezee' mattress would really be far more practical, not to say, far more comfortable.


Now, I quite like the idea of the fragrant posies, but a thousand...?!  Where would I put them, for goodness sake?  I've only got one vase...!  And a cap of flowers is 'so passe' because Beanie hats are all the rage now and as for a dress 'embroider'd all with leaves of myrtle' ... well really!  A girl needs leggings at the moment, and if I could just get a pair of shorts that didn't make my bum look fat, I'd be set.  Now, about the woolen gown which you want to make from fleece that WE pull from the little lambs, you'll have the animal rights people onto you if you try that caper!  But lined slippers for the cold are a great idea, especially if they have golden buckles, but make sure that they're Jimmy Choo's will you?  They won't let me into the clubs if I have half-inch rubber soles and fold down furry fronts.


A belt of straw and ivy buds with coral clasps and amber studs may look very pretty but it won't be strong enough to hold up my jeans and another thing, dear, silver plates don't go in the dishwasher, which means that I'll have to wear marigolds or suffer from dish-pan hands, neither of which I fancy.


Oh, and Chris, you won't get an ivory table anywhere nowadays, not for love nor money, and where do you think you'll find the shepherd swains?  The farm hands (sorry, Animal Technicians - Domestic) all drive tractors or 4x4s and wear tatty denims; they certainly haven't got time to go dancing and singing on May mornings.  Besides which, I hate karaoke, especially at 7 a.m. ...


I'm not sure you've really thought through this rural idyll, have you?  It is really not necessary for a computer programmer to wear an embroidered smock and chew on a length of straw and try to become a passionate shepherd swain.  I was so embarrassed going round the shops with you yesterday, everyone was staring and I don't think it was at my imitation Gucci belt.  I know what'll happen: you'll be tired of this in a few weeks and then it'll be a Britannia membership, DVD player, Sky and a 42 inch plasma TV. 


But instead of a rural idyll, what about a cruise?  We could sale to the land of the Bong-trees, it'll take about a year and a day and look! there's a boat for sale in the Express and Star:


For Sale: Nearly new beautiful pea-green boat, one careful owner.  (Mince, quince and honey stains. )

Also selling water-marked guitar and runcible spoon.