The pastoral mode has been used in romance (Sidney's Arcadia [1581-84]), lyric, and drama (as in Shakespeare's As You Like It); and in the eighteenth century the form began to be used also for realistic portrayals of rural life (as in George Crabbe's "The Village"  and Wordsworth's "Michael: A Pastoral Poem" ). Here are the opening lines of Christopher Marlowe's pastoral lyric, "The Passionate Shepherd to His Love" (1599):
Come live with me and be my love,
And we will all the pleasures prove
That valleys, groves, hills and fields,
Woods, or steepy mountain yields. . . .
And I will make thee beds of roses
And a thousand fragrant posies,
A cap of flowers, and a kirtle
Embroidered 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 . . .
Not surprisingly perhaps, the pastoral has long been a subject of parody. Only a few years after its appearance, Marlowe's poem was parodied by Sir Walter Raleigh in "The Nymph's Reply to the Shepherd" (1612):
If all the world and love were young,
And truth in every shepherd's tongue,
These pretty pleasures might me move
To live with thee and be thy love. . . .
The flowers do fade, and wanton fields
To wayward winter reckoning yields;
A honey tongue, a heart of gall,
Is fancy's spring, but sorrow's fall.
Thy gowns, thy shoes, thy beds of roses,
Thy cap, thy kirtle, and thy posies
Soon break, soon wither, soon forgotten--
In folly ripe, in reason rotten.