Imagens das páginas
PDF
ePub

TO MY DEAR FRIEND,

MR. IZ. WALTON, IN PRAISE OF ANGLING,

WHICH WE BOTH LOVE.

:

Down by this smooth stream's wandering side, a
Adorn'd and perfumed with the pride
Of Flora's wardrobe, where the shrill
Aërial choir express their skill,
First, in alternate melody,
And, then, in chorus all agree.
Whilstd the charm’d fish, as ecstasied
With sounds, to his own throat denied,
Scorns his dull element, and springs
I' the air, as if his fins were wings.

'Tis here that pleasures sweet and high
Prostrate to our embraces lie :
Such as to body, soul, or fame,
Create no sickness, sin, or shame:
Roses, not fenc'd with pricks, grow here;
No sting to the honey-bag is near :
But, what’s perhaps their prejudice,
They difficulty want and price.

An obvious rod, a twist of hair,
With hook hid in an insect, are
Engines of sporth, would fiti the wish
Of th’ Epicure, andk fill his dish.

In this clear stream let fall a grub;
And, straight, take up a Dace or Chub.

VARIATIONS.

* Down by this wand'ring stream's smooth side.—2nd Edit.
b Choir of the air.-Ibid. charmony.-Ibid.
name.-Ibid.

And.-Ibid. h Emblems of skill.-Ibid. i feed.-Ibid.

e

d Where.-Ibid.
& some.- Ibid.
k or.-Ibid.

D

1

l' the mud, your worm provokes a snig,
Which being fast, if it prove big,
The Gotham folly will be found
Discreet, ere ta'en she must be drown'd.
The Tench, physician of the brook,
In yon" dead hole expects your hook ;
Which having first your pastime been,
Serves then" for meat or medicineo.
Ambush'd behind that root doth stay
A Pike, to catch, and be a prey.
The treacherous quill in this slow stream P
Betrays the hunger of a Bream.P
And at that nimble ford, no doubt,
Your false fly cheats a speckled Trout.

When you these creatures wisely choose
To practise on, which to your use
Owe their creation, and when
Fish from your arts do rescue men,
To plot, delude, and circumvent,
Ensnare, and spoil, are innocent.
Here by these crystal streams you may
Preserve a conscience clear as they ;

a

VARIATIONS.

lit.—2nd Edition,

m that.-Ibid.

n next.-Ibid. • The following lines here occur in the second Edition, but are omitted in all the others:

And there the cunning Carp you may
Beguile with paste; if you'll but stay,
And watch in time, you'll have your wish,

For paste and patience catch this fish. p These two lines are omitted in the 2nd Edit.

I in.-2nd Edit. r dappled.-Ibid. Whilst.-Ivid. t You fishes choose to rescue men.-Ibid.

NOTES,

i Snig, a term more generally applied to the small nine-eyed eel, commonly found about the apron of an old weir, or in shallow parts of the river Lee, and forms the amusement of eniggling to youthful Anglers. Eu. H.

2 “If it prove big," alludes to one of the stories told of the Wise Men of Gotham, a facetious penny history, much in circulation in the time of Walton. It is there related, that the men of Gotham, upon a Good Friday, after due consultation, collected all their white herrings, red herrinys, sprats, and salt fish, and cast the whole into a pond, in order to secure a sufficient store of fish for the next Lent. In due time upon dragging the pond, there was found only a very large eel, and it being suspected the same must, by the size, have devoured the intended stock, it was concluded that such a voracious monster ought to be destroyed, and, as a death warrant, it was determined that it should be put in another pond, in order that it might be drowned. Eu. II.

And when by sullen thoughts you find
Your harassed, not busied, mind
In sable melancholy clad,
Distemper'd, serious, turning sad;
Hence fetch your cure, cast in your bait,
All anxious thoughts and cares will straight
Fly with such speed, they'llu seem to be
Possest with the hydrophoby.
The water's calmness in your breast,

' And smoothness on your brow, shall rest.

Away with sports of charge and noise,
And give me cheap and silent joys, y
Such as Actæon's game pursue,
Their fate oft makes the tale? seem truc.
The sick or sullen hawk, to-day,
Flies not; to-morrow, quite away.
Patience and purse to cards and dice
Too oft are made a sacrifice :
The daughter's dower, th' inheritance
O'th' son, depend on one mad chance.
The harms and mischiefs which th' abuse a
Of wine doth every day produce,
Make good the doctrine of the Turks,
That in each grape a devil lurks.
And by yon fading sapless tree,
'Bout which the ivy twin'd you see,
His fate's foretold, whoc fondly places
His bliss in woman's soft embraces.
All pleasures, but the Angler's, bring
I'the tail repentance, like a sting.

Then on these banksd let me site down,
Free from the toilsome sword and gown;
And pity those that dof affect
To conquer nations and protect.

a

[ocr errors]

a

VARIATIONS.

u you'll.—2nd Edit.

x Then this stream's calmness.-Ibid. y And give me cheap and quiet joys.—2nd Edition.-Sweeter are cheap and silent joys.—3rd Edition. z oft makes that fable true.-2nd Edition.

This, and the four following lines first appeared in the 3rd Edit. b that.- 2nd Edit. c that.Ibid. d this bank.-Ibid. e lie.-Ibid.

shall.-Ibid.

R

My reed affords such trues content,
Delights so sweet and" innocent,
As seldom fall untoi the lot

Of sceptres, though they're justly got. 1649.

Tuo. WEAVER, M'. of Arts.3

VARIATIONS.

h 80.-Ibid.

& affords me such content.--2nd Edit. i As falls but seldom to the lot. Ibid.

NOTE.

3 The son of Thomas Weaver, of Worcester. He entered of Christ's Church, Oxford, in 1633, being then seventeen years of age, and took his Master's degree in 1640, about which time he was made one of the Chaplains or petty Canons of the Cathedral. He was ejected by the parliament in 1648, when “he shifted from place to place, and lived upon his wits.” After the restoration, he was made an exciseman at Liverpool, and was commonly called “ Captain Weaver;" but“ prosecuting too much the crimes of poets," he died at Liverpool, on the 3rd of January, 1662-3. His works are Songs and Poems of Love, 1654; Choice Drollery, with Songs and Sonnets, 1656. Wood's Athen. Oxon. by Bliss, vol. iii. p. 623. No date occurs to the Verses in the text in any earlier edition than the Fifth.

[merged small][merged small][ocr errors]

He that both knew and writ the Lives of men,

Such as were once, but must not be again;
Witness his matchless Donne and Wotton, by

Whose aid he could their speculations try :
He that conversed with angels, such as were

Ouldsworth1 and Featly, · each a shining star
Showing the way to Bethlem ; each a saint,

Compared to whom our zealots, now, but paint.
He that our pious and learn'd Morley3 knew,

And from him suck'd wit and devotion too.
He that from these such excellencies fetch'd,

That he could tell how high and far they reach'd;
What learning this, what graces th' other had;
And in what several dress each soul was clad.

Reader, this He, this Fisherman, comes forth,
And in these Fisher's weeds would shroud his worth.
Now his mute harp is on a willow hung,
With which, when finely touch'd, and fitly strung,
He could friends' passions for these times allay,
Or chain his fellow Anglers from their prey.
But now the musick of his pen is still,
And he sits by a brook watching a quill :
Where with a fixt eye, and a ready hand,
He studies first to hook, and then to land

a

NOTES.

i Dr. Richard Holdsworth. See an account of him in the Fasti Oxon. by Bliss, p. 376; and in Ward's Lives of the Gresham Professors. H.

2 Dr. Daniel Fairclough, alias Featly, about whom see Athen. Oxon. by Bliss, vol. iii. p. 156. H.

3 Said by Hawkins to have been Dr. George Morley, who became Bishop of Worcester in 1660; was translated to Winchester in 1662; and died in 1684, to whom Walton dedicated his Life of Hooker. A life of this prelate will be found in Wood's Athen. Oxon. by Bliss, vol. iv. p. 149. The only thing which renders it doubtful whether Bishop Morley was alluded to, is that it would seem, from the manner in which the person is mentioned, that was not then, i. e. in 1650, living,

« AnteriorContinuar »