1653 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

William Basse

Izaac Walton, in Compleat Angler (1653) 74, 79-80.



CORIDON:

I wil sing a Song if any body wil sing another; else, to be plain with you, I wil sing none: I am none of those that sing for meat, but for company; I say, 'Tis merry in Hall when men sing all.

PISCATOR:

I'l promise you I'l sing a Song that was lately made at my request by Mr. William Basse, one that has made the choice Songs of the Hunter in his carrere, and of Tom of Bedlam, and many others of note; and this that I wil sing is in praise of Angling....

The ANGLERS Song.
An 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 and 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....