Seeing as this poem is a reply to "The Passionate Shepherd," it makes sense that shepherds would be mentioned and might carry a bit of symbolic weight. We mention in the "Summary" that shepherds, as a poetic image, are frequently associated with all that is warm, fuzzy, and lovely about the countryside. What we didn't mention is that, if you've got shepherds in a poem from Elizabethan England, you also have a potential reference to good old Queen Bess herself. This is thanks to a guy named Edmund Spenser, who also happened to be a good friend of our author, Sir Walter Ralegh. We also didn't mention the possibility that the Queen and Sir Walter were a little bit more than platonic pals. We don't know about you, but it sounds like line 2 just got a lot more interesting!