Verse > Anthologies > The World’s Best Poetry > Vol. V. Nature
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Bliss Carman, et al., eds.  The World’s Best Poetry.
Volume V. Nature.  1904.
 
III. The Seasons
The Angler’s Wish
Izaak Walton (1593–1683)
 
I IN these flowery meads would be,
These crystal streams should solace me;
To whose harmonious bubbling noise
I, with my angle, would rejoice,
    Sit here, and see the turtle-dove        5
    Court his chaste mate to acts of love;
 
Or, on that bank, feel the west-wind
Breathe health and plenty; please my mind,
To see sweet dew-drops kiss these flowers,
And then washed off by April showers;        10
    Here, hear my Kenna 1 sing a song:
    There, see a blackbird feed her young,
 
Or a laverock build her nest;
Here, give my weary spirits rest,
And raise my low-pitched thoughts above        15
Earth, or what poor mortals love.
    Thus, free from lawsuits, and the noise
    Of princes’ courts, I would rejoice;
 
Or, with my Bryan and a book,
Loiter long days near Shawford brook;        20
There sit by him, and eat my meat;
There see the sun both rise and set;
There bid good morning to next day;
There meditate my time away;
    And angle on; and beg to have        25
    A quiet passage to a welcome grave.
 
Note 1. “Kenna,” the name of his supposed mistress, seems to have been formed from the name of his wife, which was Ken. [back]
 
 
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