Verse > Anthologies > T. H. Ward, ed. > The English Poets > Vol. II. Ben Jonson to Dryden
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Thomas Humphry Ward, ed.  The English Poets.  1880–1918.
Vol. II. The Seventeenth Century: Ben Jonson to Dryden
 
Extracts from Britannia’s Pastorals: The Hunted Squirrel
By William Browne (c. 1590–c. 1645)
 
Book I. Song 5.

THEN as a nimble squirrel from the wood,
Ranging the hedges for his filbert-food,
Sits pertly on a bough his brown nuts cracking,
And from the shell the sweet white kernel taking,
Till with their crooks and bags a sort of boys,        5
To share with him, come with so great a noise
That he is forced to leave a nut nigh broke,
And for his life leap to a neighbour oak,
Thence to a beech, thence to a row of ashes;
Whilst through the quagmires and red water plashes        10
The boys run dabbling thorough thick and thin,
One tears his hose, another breaks his shin,
This, torn and tatter’d, hath with much ado
Got by the briars; and that hath lost his shoe:
This drops his band; that headlong falls for haste;        15
Another cries behind for being last:
With sticks and stones, and many a sounding hollow,
The little fool with no small sport they follow,
Whilst he from tree to tree, from spray to spray,
Gets to the wood, and hides him in his dray.        20
 
 
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