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William Stanley Braithwaite, ed. The Book of Elizabethan Verse. 1907.

On a Bank as I Sat A-fishing

Sir Henry Wotton (1568–1639)

THIS day Dame Nature seemed in love;

The lusty sap began to move;

Fresh juice did stir th’ embracing vines,

And birds had drawn their valentines;

The jealous trout that low did lie

Rose at the well-dissembled fly;

There stood my friend, with patient skill

Attending of his trembling quill.

Already were the eaves possess’d

With the swift pilgrim’s daubèd nest;

The groves already did rejoice

In Philomel’s triumphing voice;

The showers were short, the weather mild,

The morning fresh, the evening smiled;

Joan takes her neat-rubbed pail, and now

She trips to milk the sand-red cow;

Where for some sturdy football swain

Joan strokes a syllabub or twain;

The fields and gardens were beset

With tulip, crocus, violet;

And now, though late the modest rose

Did more than half a blush disclose,

Thus all looked gay and full of cheer

To welcome the new-liveried year.