From The Jew of Malta ("Content, but we will leave this paltry land")

Original Text: 
The Famous Tragedy of the Rich Jew of Malta (London: Printed by J.B. for Nicholas Vavasour, 1633) sig. H2r / STC (2nd ed.) 17412
2And sail from hence to Greece, to lovely Greece;
4Where painted carpets o'er the the meads are hurled
6Where woods and forests go in goodly green,
8The meads, the orchards, and the primrose lanes
9Instead of sedge and reed bear sugar-canes;
11Shalt live with me and be my love.


1] Ithamore, a Machiavellian Turkish slave, addresses this ironic romantic pledge to Bellamira, a greedy urban courtesan, as the two plot to overthrow Ithamore's master, Barabas, in Act 4. The inset lyric playfully participates in the popular verse exchange that Marlowe initiated with ."The Passionate Shepherd to his Love.." See also ."The Nymph's Reply." by Sir Walter Ralegh and ."The Bait." by John Donne. Back to Line
3] Jason: legendary hero who voyaged with the Argonauts to locate the golden fleece of a winged ram. Back to Line
5] Bacchus: the Greek god of wine and revelry Back to Line
7] Love's Queen: the goddess Venus, whose erotic obsession with Adonis, the beautiful, doomed hunter, Shakespeare famously treated in his contemporary narrative poem. Back to Line
10] Dis: the Roman god of the underworld (."Dis above." is therefore ironic). Back to Line
Publication Start Year: 
RPO poem Editors: 
Christopher Matusiak
RPO Edition: