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On a Bank As I Sat A-Fishing
Sir Henry Wotton


And now all Nature seem’d in love;
The lusty sap began to move;
New juice did stir th’embracing Vines,
And birds had drawn their valentines:
The jealous trout, that low did lie,
Rose at a well-dissembled flie:
There stood my friend, with patient skill,
Attending of his trembling quill.
Already were the eaves possessed
With the swift pilgrims daubed nest:
The groves already did rejoice
In Philomel’s triumphing voice.
The showers were short, the weather mild,
The morning fresh, the evening smil’d.
Joan takes her neat-rubbed pail, and now
She trips to milk the sand-red cow;
Where for some sturdy foot-ball swain,
Joan strokes a sillabub or twain.
The fields and gardens were beset
With tulip, crocus, violet:
And now, though late, the modest rose
Did more then half a blush disclose.
Thus all look’d gay, all full of cheer,
To welcome the new-livery’d year. 

This poem is in the public domain.



Sir Henry Wotton (1568 – 1639) was an English author and diplomat, though he spent most of his life in Italy. Following a long and checkered career as a foreign ambassador, involving much travel and not a little intrigue, Henry wound up as the provost of Eton College. His body of work is not large, and none of his poetry was published during his lifetime, but he was enormously respected for his integrity and its impact on those around him.

Post New Comment:
There's an elegant unlabored meter in the couplet that draws me in: The fields and gardens were beset With tulip, crocus, violet:
Posted 04/26/2011 09:29 AM

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