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Oh the gallant fisher's life,
the best of any ; 'Tis full of pleasure, void of strife, And 'tis beloved by many;
Breeds no ill,
In a morning up we rise,
Then we go
As the Thames,
When we please to walk abroad
Where in a brook,
For a bit
We have gentles in a horn
None do here
And watch our quill ;
If the sun's excessive hent
AN ANGLER'S SONG.
To an osier-hedge we get
Where in a dyke
Where we may
Are but toys
Here from old Izaak Walton's book again we find such a pleasant picture of a contemplative fisherman's peace of mind that we cannot resist laying it before our readers.
“My next and last example"—the good old man is pleading eloquently though quaintly, for the morality of his favourite sport—“shall be that undervaluer of money the late Provost of Eton College, Sir Henry Wotton, a man with whom I have often fished and conversed, a man whose foreign employments in the service of this nation, and whose experience, learning, wit, and cheerfulness, made his company to be esteemed one of the delights of mankind; this man, whose very approbation of angling were sufficient to convince any modest censurer of it, this man was also & most dear lover and frequent practiser of the art of angling ; of which he would say, 'Twas an employment for his idle time, which was then not idly spent: for angling was, after tedious study, a rest to his mind, a cheerer of his spirits, a diverter of sadness, a calmer of unquiet thoughts, a moderator of passions, a procurer of contentedness; and that it begat habits of peace and patience in those that possessed and practised it. Indeed, my friend, you will find angling to be like the virtue of humility, which has a calmness of spirit and a world of other blessings attending upon it.
“Sir, it was the saying of that learned man, and I do easily believe that peace and patience and a calm content did cohabit in the cheerful heart of Sir Henry Wotton, because I know, when he was beyord seventy years of age, he made this description of a part of the present pleasures that possessed him, as he sate quietly in a summer's evening on a bank a-fishing; it is a description of the spring, which because it glided as softly and sweetly from his pen, as that river does at this time, by which it was then made, I shall repeat it unto you:
This day Dame Nature seem'd in love;
APRIL SHOWERS AND SUNSHINE.
The groves already did rejoice
And now in parting company with the old fisherman, let us turn to our poets and hear what they have to tell us of April showers and sunshine, rainbows and blossom :
The showers of the spring
Rouse the birds and they sing;
From the sad face of the skies ;
Were there no watery eyes.
Its own excuse in after years;
TO THE RAINBOW.
Triumphal arch that fill'st the sky
When storms prepare to part, I ask not proud philosophy
To teach me what thou art.
Still seem, as to my childhood's sight,
A midway station given For happy spirits to alight
Betwixt the earth and heaven.
Can all that Optics teach, unfold
Thy form to please me so,
Hid in thy radiant bow i
When Science from creation's face
Enchantment's veil withdraws, What lovely visions yield their place
To cold material laws !
And yet, fair bow, no fabling dreams,
But words of the Most High Have told why first thy robe of beams
Was woven in the sky.
When o'er the green undeluged earth
Heaven's covenant th didst suine, How came the world's grey fathers forth
To watch thy sacred sigu !
And when its yellow lustre smiled
O'er mountains yet untrod, Each mother held aloft her child,
To bless the bow of God.
Methinks, thy jubilee to keep,
The first, made anthem rang
And the first poet sang.
Nor ever shall the Muse's eye
Unraptured greet thy beam; Theme of primeval prophecy,
Be still the poet's theme !