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Imagery in The Nymph's Reply to the Shepherd

Imagery Examples in The Nymph's Reply to the Shepherd:

Text of the Poem

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"wanton..."   (Text of the Poem)

When referring to nature, the adjective “wanton” means “profuse in growth,” “luxuriant, abundant, and unchecked.” This creates the image of a wild field that is uncontrollable. In Marlowe’s poem, the shepherd promises his lover that he will make her a bed of roses and clothing out of these flowers. However, in her response, the nymph tells him that the field cannot be tamed or used for human purposes.

"Rivers rage and Rocks grow cold..."   (Text of the Poem)

Once again, Raleigh twists the imagery in Marlowe’s poem. Marlowe’s “shallow Rivers” become “Rivers [that] rage.” Marlowe’s shepherd imagines how “we will sit upon the Rocks” while Raleigh’s nymph thinks ahead to evening when “Rocks grow cold.” As ever, the nymph is the realist, understanding that rivers can be dangerous and rocks cold to the touch, that night falls on even the most pleasant day.

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