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Sir Henry Wotton

(1568 - 1639 / England)

A Description Of The Countreys Recreations


Quivering fears, Heart-tearing cares,
Anxious sighs, Untimely tears,
Fly, fly to Courts,
Fly to fond worldling's sports,
Where strained Sardonic smiles are glossing still,
And grief is forced to laugh against her will,
Where mirth's but mummery,
And sorrows only real be.

Fly from our Countrey pastimes! fly,
Sad troops of humane misery;
Come serene looks,
Clear as the Crystal brooks,
Or the pure azur'd heaven, that smiles to see
The rich attendance on our poverty.
Peace and a secure mind,
(Which all men seek) we only find.

Abused Mortals! did you know
Where Joy, Hearts-ease, and comforts grow;
You'd scorn proud towers,
And seek them in these bowers,
Where winds sometimes, our woods perhaps may shake,
But blustering care could never tempest mak,
Nor murmurs e'er come nigh us.
Saving of fountains that glide by us.

Here's no fantastick Mask, nor dance,
But of our Kids, that frisk and prance:
Nor wars are seen,
Unless upon the green
Two harmless Lambs are butting one the other;
Which done, both bleating run, each to his Mother.
And wounds are never found,
Save what the Plow-share gives the ground.

Here are no false entrapping baits,
To hasten to too hasty fates;
Unless it be
The fond Credulity
Of silly fish, which worldling-like, still look
Upon the Bait, but never on the Hook:
Nor envy, uless among
The Birds, for prize of their sweet song.

Go! let the diving Negro seek
For Gems, hid in some forlorn creek;
We all Pearls scorn,
Save what the dewy morn
Congeals upon each little spire of grass;
Which careless Shepherds beat down as they pass;
And gold ne'er here appears,
Save what the yellow Ceres bears.

Blest silent Groves! ô may ye be
For ever Mirth's best Nursery!
May pure contents
For ever pitch their tents
Upon these Downs, these Meads, these Rocks, these Mountains,
And peace still slumber by these purling Fountains!
Which we may every year
Find when we come a fishing here.

Submitted: Wednesday, April 21, 2010

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