Three from Read & Dobrée II
Three poems from The London Book of English Verse.
On a Bank as I sat a-Fishing
A Description of The Spring
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-dissembl'd fly:
There stood my friend, with patient skill,
Attending of his trembling quill.
Already were the eaves possess'd
With the swift pilgrim's daubed nest:
The groves already did rejoice
In Philomel's triumphing voice.
The show'rs were short, the weather mild,
The morning fresh, the evening smil'd.
Joan takes her neat-rubb'd 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 look'd gay, all full of cheer,
To welcome the new liveried year.
Sir Henry Wotton
Gone were but the Winter,
Come were but the Spring,
I would go to a covert
Where the birds sing.
Where in the whitethorn
Singeth a thrush,
And a robin sings
In the holly-bush.
Full of fresh scents
Are the budding boughs
Arching high over
A cool green house:
Full of sweet scents,
And whispering air
Which sayeth softly:
"We spread no snare;
"Here dwell in safety,
Here dwell alone,
With a clear stream
And a mossy stone.
"Here the sun shineth
Here is heard an echo
Of the far sea,
Though far off it be."
The Merry Country Lad
Who can live in heart so glad
As the merry country lad?
Who upon a fair green balk
May at pleasure sit and walk,
And amid the azure skies
See the morning sun arise,
While he hears in every spring
How the birds do chirp and sing:
Or before the hounds in cry
See the hare go stealing by:
Or along the shallow brook,
Angling with a baited hook,
See the fishes leap and play
In a blessed sunny day:
Or to hear the partridge call
Till she have her covey all:
Or to see the subtle fox,
How the villain plies the box;
After feeding on his prey,
How he closely steals away,
Through the hedge and down the furrow
Till he gets into his burrow:
Then the bee to gather honey;
And the little black-haired coney,
On a bank for sunny place,
With her forefeet wash her face,
Are not these, with thousands moe
Than the courts of kings do know,
The true pleasing spirit's sights
That may breed true love's delights?
The London Book of English Verse (1949), ed. Herbert Read and Bonamy Dobrée, ## 427, 39, 677; pp. 381f, 67f, 831.
See also Three from Read & Dobrée I: Three poems from The London Book of English Verse.
Lane Core Jr. CIW P Sun. 04/24/05 08:04:56 AM
Categorized as Literary & Sunday Poetry Series.