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cheerfulnesse, made his company to bee esteemed one of the delights of mankind ; this man,—whose very approbation of Angling were sufficient to convince any modest Censurer of it,—this man was also a most dear lover, and a frequent practicer of the Art of Angling; of which he would say, 'Twas an Imployment for his idle time, which was (then] not idly spent; for angling was, after tedious Study, A rest to his mind, a cheerer of his spirits, a divertion of sadnesse, a calmer of unquiet thoughts, a Moderator of passions, a procurer of contentednesse; and, that it begot habits of peace and patience in those that profest and practic'd it. [Indeed, my friend, you will find angling to be like the vertue of Humility, which has a calmness of spirit, and a world of other blessings attending upon it.]*-Sir, This was the saying of that Learned man; and I do easily believe that peace, and patience, and a calme content did cohabit in the cheerful heart of Sir Henry Wotton, because I know, that when hee was beyond seventy yeares of age, hee made this discription of a part of the present pleasure that possest him, as he sate
quietly in a Summers evening on a bank a fishing; it is a i description of the Spring, which, because it glides as soft
and sweetly from his pen, as that River does now by which it was then made, I shall repeat [it] unto you.” After reciting the Poem, Piscator adds, “These were the thoughts that then possest the undisturbed mind of Sir Henry Wotton.”
From this passage we can ascertain the date of the piece with sufficient exactness; for Wotton died in his seventy-second year. Mr. Dyce is therefore correct when he says, that it “was probably composed during his later years ;" but the extracts from Walton's Life of him, and from the Epistle Dedicatory before the Complete Angler, on
• The words within brackets are added from the third edit, of the An. gler, where, a little above, we bave 'a diverter of sadnesse,' and towards the end of the quotation,' as that river does at this time'- The extract is printed from the second ed. (1655.)
which he founds his opinion, might perhaps have been dispensed with, when we had this decisive evidence in the Complete Angler itself
The Variations are from three copies; A=that in the Complete Angler, as above: B=MS. Rawl. Poet. 147, p. 47. C=Archbishop Sancroft's MS. (Tann. 465, fol. 61, ro) In both the MSS. it is entitled, “ On the Spring,” and signed “Si H. Wotton.”]
ND now all Nature seem'd in Love;
The lusty Sap began to move;
And Birds had drawn their Valentines;  The jealous Trout, that low did lie,
Rose at a well-dissembled Flie:
Already were the Eves possest
The Groves already did rejoyce
The showres were short, the weather mild,
The Morning fresh, the Evening smil'd.
She trips to milk the Sand-red Cow;
The Fields and Gardens were beset  With Tulip, Crocus, Violet :
• The biograpbers of Izaak Walton are donbtless right in treating this as a reference to bim. Zouch, p. xiii. ed. 1796. Nicolas, pp. xxxv. 79.
And now, though late, the modest Rose
(Variations. 1. " This day dame Nature'-A.-3. • Fresh juice'-A.—7. Or else my Friend'—B C.-8. ^ Did early watch the'-B C.-11. Already did the groue'-B C.-13. “the ayre was mild'-B C.-14. “The mornes were sweet, the meadows smil'd' -B C.-16. “Sanded'-B. Sandied'-C.-18. • She stroakes' -BC.-19. Both feild and garden'--B C.-20. “With Crocus, Tulip'-B. “Tulips'A.-23, 'looks gay, and'-A. was gay'BC.]
[In the letter in which Sir Henry Wotton announced to the King that he had taken Deacon's Orders (1627), he says, “if I can produce nothing else for the use of Church and State, yet it shall be comfort enough to the little remnant of my life, to compose some Hymns unto his endless glory, who hath called me (for which his Name be ever blessed), though late to his Service, yet early to the knowledge of his truth, and sense of his mercy.” (Rel. Wotton. p. 329, ed. 1672.) As No. XIII. was written before that time, during one of his Venetian Embassies, this Psalm, and the Hymn written during sickness, (No. XIV.) are the only results of this design which we possess.
Lord Aston, who has inserted the translation among his “Select Psalms in Verse,” (1811, p. 185,) calls it “the finest specimen” he has “met with of sacred poetry among our earlier authors."]
Y Soul, exalt the Lord with Hymns of Praise: O Lord, my God, how boundless is Thy might!
[Glorious Rays, Whose Throne of State is cloath'd with And round about hast robe'd Thy self with Light:
Who like a Curtain hast the Heavens display'd,
Whose Chariots are the thickned Clouds above;
Who walk'st upon the winged winds below;
Who on his* Base the Earth didst firmly found,
The Waves that rise would drown the highest Hill,
But at thy Check they flie, and when they hear
Where surging Floods and valing Ebbs can tell,
Who hath dispos'd, but thou, the winding way
Where Springs down from the steepy crags do beat,
Where Birds resort, and, in their kind, thy praise
. So eds. 1651 and 1654. In ed. 1672, 'this'