I IN these flowery meads would be,
These crystal streams should solace me;
To whose harmonious bubbling noise
I, with my angle, would rejoice,

Sit here, and see the turtle-dove
Court his chaste mate to acts of love;

Or, on that bank, feel the west-wind
Breathe health and plenty; please my mind,
To see sweet dew-drops kiss these flowers,
And then washed off by April showers;

Here, hear my kenna sing a song:
There, see a black bird feed her young,

Or a laverock build her nest;
Here, give my weary spirits rest,
And raise my low-pitched thoughts above
Earth, or what poor mortals love.

Thus, free from lawsuits, and the noise
Of princes' courts, I would rejoice;

Or, with my Bryan and a book,
Loiter long days near Shawford brook ;
There sit by him, and eat my meat;
There see the sun both rise and set;
There bid good morning to next day;
There meditate my time away;

And angle on; and beg to have
A quiet passage to a welcome grave.





JUST in the dubious point, where with the pool
Is mixed the trembling stream, or where it boils
Around the stone, or from the hollowed bank
Reverted plays in undulating flow,
There throw, nice-judging, the delusive fly;
And, as you lead it round in artful curve,
With eye attentive mark the springing game.
Straight as above the surface of the flood
They wanton rise, or urged by hunger leap,
Then fix, with gentle twitch, the barbéd hook;
Some lightly tossing to the grassy bank,
And to the shelving shore slow dragging some,
With various hand proportioned to their force.
If yet too young, and easily deceived,
A worthless prey scarce bends your pliant rod,
Him, piteous of his youth, and the short space
He has enjoyed the vital light of heaven,
Soft disengage, and back into the stream
The speckled infant throw. But should you lure
From his dark haunt, beneath the tangled roots

Of pendent trees, the monarch of the brook,
Behooves you then to ply your finest art.
Long time he, following cautious, scans the fly;
And oft attempts to seize it, but as oft
The dimpled water speaks his jealous fear.
At last, while haply o'er the shaded sun
Passes a cloud, he desperate takes the death,
With sullen plunge. At once he darts along,
Deep-struck, and runs out all the lengthened line;
Then seeks the farthest ooze, the sheltering weed,
The caverned bank, his old secure abode;
And flies aloft, and flounces round the pool,
Indignant of the guile. With yielding hand,
That feels him still, yet to his furious course
Gives way, you, now retiring, following now
Across the stream, exhaust his idle rage;
Till, floating broad upon his breathless side,
And to his fate abandoned, to the shore
You gayly drag your unresisting prize.



BUT look! o'er the fall see the angler stand,
Swinging his rod with skilful hand;
The fly at the end of his gossamer line
Swims through the sun like a summer moth,
Till, dropt with a careful precision fine,

It touches the pool beyond the froth.
A-sudden, the speckled hawk of the brook
Darts from his covert and seizes the hook.
Swift spins the reel; with easy slip

The line pays out, and the rod like a whip,
Lithe and arrowy, tapering, slim,

Is bent to a bow o'er the brooklet's brim,
Till the trout leaps up in the sun, and flings
The spray from the flash of his finny wings ;
Then falls on his side, and, drunken with fright,

Is towed to the shore like a staggering barge,
Till beached at last on the sandy marge,
Where he dies with the hues of the morning light,
While his sides with a cluster of stars are bright.
The angler in his basket lays
The constellation, and goes his ways.



SING, Sweet thrushes, forth and sing!
Meet the morn upon the lea;
Are the emeralds of the spring

On the angler's trysting-tree?
Tell, sweet thrushes, tell to me!

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Are there buds on our willow-tree?

Buds and birds on our trysting-tree? Sing, sweet thrushes, forth and sing !

Have you met the honey-bee,
Circling upon rapid wing,

Round the angler's trysting-tree ?
Up, sweet thrushes, up and see !
Are there bees at our willow-tree ?

Birds and bees at the trysting-tree ?
Sing, sweet thrushes, forth and sing !

Are the fountains gushing free ?
Is the south-wind wandering

Through the angler's trysting-tree?
Up, sweet thrushes, tell to me!
Is there wind up our willow-tree?

Wind or calm at our trysting-tree ?
Sing, sweet thrushes, forth and sing !

Wile us with a merry glee ;
To the flowery haunts of spring,

To the angler's trysting-tree.
Tell, sweet thrushes, tell to me!
Are there flowers 'neath our willow-tree?
Spring and flowers at the trysting-tree?

We have gentles in a horn,

We have paste and worms too; We can watch both night and morn, Suffer rain and storms too;

None do here
Use to swear :
Oaths do fray
Fish away ;
We sit still,

Watch our quill :
Fishers must not wrangle.


If the sun's excessive heat

Make our bodies swelter, To an osier hedge we get, For a friendly shelter ;

Where, in a dike,
Perch or pike,
Roach or dace,
We do chase,
Bleak or gudgeon,

Without grudging;
We are still contented.


Or we sometimes pass an hour

Under a green willow,
That defends us from a shower,
Making earth our pillow;

Where we may
Think and pray,
Before death
Stops our breath ;
Other joys

Are but toys,
And to be lamented.


O THE gallant fisher's life,

It is the best of any ! 'T is full of pleasure, void of strife, And 't is beloved by many ;

Other joys
Are but toys;
Only this
Lawful is ;
For our skill

Breeds no ill,
But content and pleasure.
In a morning, up we rise,

Ere Aurora's peeping ;
Drink a cup to wash our eyes,
Leave the sluggard sleeping ;

Then we go
To and fro,
With our knacks
At our backs,
To such streams

As the Thames,
If we have the leisure.
When we please to walk abroad

For our recreation,
In the fields is our abode,

Full of delectation,


QUIVERING fears, heart-tearing cares,
Anxious sighs, untimely tears,

Fly, fly to courts,

Fly to fond worldlings' sports,
Where strained sardonic smiles are ylosing still,
And grief is forced to laugh against her will,

Where mirth 's but mummery,
And sorrows only real be.

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Abused mortals ! did you know

Go, let the diving negro seek
Where joy, heart's ease, and comforts grow, For gems, hid in some forlorn creek:
You 'd scorn proud towers

We all pearls scorn
And seek them in these bowers,

Save what the dewy morn
Where winds, sometimes, our woods perhaps may Congeals upon each little spire of grass,

Which careless shepherds beat down as they pass;
But blustering care could never tempest make ; And gold ne'er here appears,
Nor murmurs e'er come nigh us,

Save what the yellow Ceres bears.
Saving of fountains that glide by us.

Blest silent groves, 0, may you be,
Here's no fantastic mask nor dance,

Forever, mirth's best nursery !
But of our kids that frisk and prance ;

May pure contents
Nor wars are seen,

Forever pitch their tents
Unless upon the green

Upon these downs, these meads, these rocks, these Two harmless lambs are butting one the other,

mountains ! Which done, both bleating run, cach to his mother; And peace still slumber by these purling fountairs, And wounds are never found,

Which we may every year
Save what the ploughshare gives the Meet, when we come a-fishing here.


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