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On thy banks, limpid Thames, as I stand,
To hook the keen glutton below, As the breeze flows refreshing and bland,
I am tempted my hair-line to throw.
Nor thy waters alone can delight,
The herbage, the landscape, appear To enrapture my wandering sight,
As the music of birds charms the ear.
If my cork, faithful friend, sinks below,
At the bite of the barbel or bream, To see what thy clear currents bestow,
I draw up my prize from the stream.
In the sunbeams he glitters, for liberty tries, But his efforts are vain, and he tires;
And, finding no way of escape to devise, In the pure open air he expires.
Your heroes, (I sing), round the world let them Or for honour seek death in the field ; [jroam,
We anglers are happy, in quiet at home, With such sports as the rivulets yield.
At our humble pursuits let the casuist go frown,
Our pastime 'tis mine to defend ; But not like the lowman, bred up in the town,
To beggar the purse of a friend.