Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, THE ANGLER'S SONG, by WILLIAM BASSE



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THE ANGLER'S SONG, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: As inward love breeds outward talk
Last Line: Whom he to follow him hath chose.
Subject(s): Fish & Fishing; Anglers


AS inward love breeds outward talk,
The Hound some praise, and some the Hawk;
Some, better pleas'd with private sport,
Use Tenis; some a Mistris court:
But these delights I neither wish,
Nor envy, while I freely fish.

Who hunts, doth oft in danger ride;
Who hauks, lures oft both far & wide;
Who uses games, may often prove
A loser; but who fals in love,
Is fettered in fond Cupids snare:
My Angle breeds me no such care.

Of Recreation there is none
So free as fishing is alone;
All other pastimes do no less
Then mind and body both possess;
My hand alone my work can do,
So I can fish and study too.

I care not, I, to fish in seas,
Fresh rivers best my mind do please,
Whose sweet calm course I contemplate,
And seek in life to imitate;
In civil bounds I fain would keep
And for my past offences weep.

And when the timerous Trout I wait
To take, and he devours my bait,
How poor a thing, sometimes I find,
Will captivate a greedy mind;
And when none bite, I praise the wise
Whom vain alurements ne're surprise.

But yet, though while I fish I fast;
I make good fortune my repast;
And thereunto my friend invite,
In whom I more then that delight:
Who is more welcome to my dish,
Then to my Angle was my fish.

As well content no prize to take,
As use of taken prize to make;
For so our Lord was pleased, when
He Fishers made Fishers of men;
Where (which is in no other game)
A man may fish and praise his name.

The first men that our Saviour dear
Did chuse to wait upon him here,
Blest Fishers were; and fish the last
Food was, that he on earth did taste:
I therefore strive to follow those
Whom he to follow him hath chose.





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