1653 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Francis Davison

Izaac Walton, in The Compleat Angler (1653) 121-22.



PISCATOR: No life, my honest Scholer, no life so happy and so pleasant as the Anglers, unless it be the Beggers life in Summer; for then only they take no care, but are as happy as we Anglers.

VIATOR: Indeed Master, and so they be, as is witnessed by the beggers Song, made long since by Frank Davison, who was not a Begger, though he were a good Poet.

PISCASTOR: Can you sing it, Scholer?

VIATOR: Sit down a little, good Master, and I will try.

Bright shines the Sun, play beggars play,
Here's scraps enough to serve to play,
What noise of viols is so sweet
As when our merry clappers ring?
What mirth doth want when beggers meet?
A beggers life is for a King:
Eat, drink, and play, sleep when we list,
Go where we will so stocks be mist.
Bright shines the Sun, play beggers, &c. ...