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ANGLING. Grown tir'd of the town and its noisy pursuit
I sat off one morning in June ; Resolv'd my dull spirits once more to recruit,
I at Richmond arrived about noon. Stopp'd there, where the current the royal shore hems,
With a thousand gay objects in front; At the old Silver Cross, by the side of the Thames,
I hir'd me a fisherman's punt.
I circled the isle, for the day was serene,
All things seem'd my pleasures to court ; So I anchored my boat off the meadows so green,
And prepar'd for a summer's day sport. My tackle was charming, and plenty in store,
My fly-line in order, my rod to my wish ; And clear of the bull-rushy sedge by the shore,
I began to look out for the fish.
Roach, dace, and brisk gudgeons, in numbers arise,
With the barbel that skulk by the mill ; And Fortune, inclin'd to present me a prize,
Sent a salmon to cope with my skill. The sun was now sunk the horizon below,
When old Time, that importunate friend, Told me, in friendship, the way I'd to go,
So unwilling the sage to offend.