Sunday, June 20, 2021

The Anglers Song

Environmental & Science Education, STEM, Nature, Wildlife, Biodiversity, Miscellaneous

Ed Hessler

In The Compleat Angler, Izaak Walton includes a story about four Anglers, the author, Peter, Corridon, and Vena, a student of the Angle, i.e., a Scholar, who meet after a day's fishing for dinner and night's lodging.  

Vena tells them that his "master left me alone for an hour this day...I sate down under a Willow-tree by the water side, and considered what (my honest Master) had told me of the Owner of that pleasant Meadow (who) had a pleasant estate, and not a heart to think so; that he had at this time many Law-suits depending; and that they...damp'd his mirth." 

Vena tells his fellow Anglers "a part of the thoughts that then possest me, and I there made a conversion of a piece of an old Ketch, and added more to it, fitting them to be sung by us Anglers." Peter remrked "I marry* Sir, this is Musick indeed, this has cheer'd my heart and made me to remember six Verses in praise of Musick."

Musick, miraculous Rhetorick, that speak'st sense/ Without a tongue, excelling eloquence;/ With what ease might thy errors be excus'd/ Wert thou as truly lov'd as th'art abus'd?/ But through dull souls neglect, and some reprove thee,/ I cannot had the, 'cause the Angels love thee.

"Pisc. (Walton) notes that Peter has well remembered those verses. "Come, we will all joyn together, mine Hoste and all, and sing my Scholars ketch over again, and then each man drink the tother  cup and to bed, and than God we have a dry house over our heads. Pisc. Well now, good night to every body. Pet. And so say I. Vena. And so say I. Cor. Good night to you all, and I thank you." (my emphasis)

The Anglers Song was "set by Mr. Henry Lawes for two voices: trebble and basse." Here it is sung by different voices,  sopranos Elissa Edwards and Allegra Hall.  I think Mr. Walton (aka Pisc.) would have liked it. Here are the lyrics.

*Marry was used frequently as an exclamation of surprise or emphasis.

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