Verse > Anthologies > T. H. Ward, ed. > The English Poets > Vol. II. Ben Jonson to Dryden
Thomas Humphry Ward, ed.  The English Poets.  1880–1918.
Vol. II. The Seventeenth Century: Ben Jonson to Dryden
The River God to Amoret (from The Faithful Shepherdess)
By John Fletcher (1579–1625)
I AM this fountain’s god. Below
My waters to a river grow,
And ’twixt two banks with osiers set,
That only prosper in the wet,
Through the meadows do they glide,        5
Wheeling still on every side,
Sometime winding round about
To find the evenest channel out.
And if thou wilt go with me,
Leaving mortal company,        10
In the cool streams shalt thou lie,
Free from harm as well as I;
I will give thee for thy food
No fish that useth in the mud,
But trout and pike, that love to swim        15
Where the gravel from the brim
Through the pure streams may be seen;
Orient pearl fit for a queen
Will I give, thy love to win,
And a shell to keep them in;        20
Not a fish in all my brook
That shall disobey thy look,
But, when thou wilt, come gliding by
And from thy white hand take a fly:
And to make thee understand        25
How I can my waves command,
They shall bubble whilst I sing,
Sweeter than the silver string.
The Song.
Do not fear to put thy feet
Naked in the river sweet;        30
Think not leech or newt or toad
Will bite thy foot, when thou hast trod;
Nor let the water rising high,
As thou wad’st in, make thee cry
And sob; but ever live with me,        35
And not a wave shall trouble thee!

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