Study Guide

The Passionate Shepherd to His Love Man and the Natural World

Advertisement - Guide continues below

Man and the Natural World

And we will all the pleasures prove,
That valleys, groves, hills and fields,
Woods, or steepy mountain yield. (2-4)

The speaker lists multiple country landscapes in quick succession to emphasize the variety of scenery and activities available in the countryside. And no matter where they go, if it's green, the two of them will be happy.

By shallow rivers, to whose falls,
Melodious birds sing madrigals (7-8)

Nature is literally and figuratively in harmony in the pastoral world. This is like one of those cheesy scenes from a Disney princess movie, when she prances through the forest and all the birds and trees sing with her.

A gown made of the finest wool,
Which form our pretty lambs we pull (13-14)

Nature is not only in harmony with itself, it's willing and able to provide everything two people would need to survive. Of course, we're getting this through the speaker's eyes, so it's entirely possible that the picture we're getting of nature here is—shall we say?—less than accurate.

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 (15-18)

The pastoral mode shifts up a gear when the speaker not only perfects what's readily found in nature but starts promising things from nature that it cannot deliver, like gold buckles, coral clasps, and amber studs.

This is a premium product

Tired of ads?

Join today and never see them again.

Please Wait...