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Edmund Clarence Stedman, ed. (1833–1908). A Victorian Anthology, 1837–1895. 1895.

Joseph Ashby-Sterry b. 1838

A Marlow Madrigal

OH, Bisham Banks are fresh and fair,

And Quarry Woods are green,

And pure and sparkling is the air,

Enchanting is the scene!

I love the music of the weir,

As swift the stream runs down,

For oh, the water’s deep and clear

That flows by Marlow town!

When London’s getting hot and dry,

And half the season’s done,

To Marlow you should quickly fly,

And bask there in the sun.

There pleasant quarters you may find,—

The “Angler” or the “Crown”

Will suit you well, if you ’re inclin’d

To stay in Marlow town.

I paddle up to Harleyford,

And sometimes I incline

To cushions take with lunch aboard,

And play with rod and line;

For in a punt I love to laze,

And let my face get brown;

And dream away the sunny days

By dear old Marlow town.

I go to luncheon at the Lawn,

I muse, I sketch, I rhyme;

I headers take at early dawn,

I list to All Saints’ chime.

And in the river, flashing bright,

Dull care I strive to drown,—

And get a famous appetite

At pleasant Marlow town.

So when no longer London life

You feel you can endure,

Just quit its noise, its whirl, its strife,

And try the “Marlow cure.”

You ’ll smooth the wrinkles on your brow,

And scare away each frown,—

Feel young again once more, I vow,

At quaint old Marlow town.

Here Shelley dream’d and thought and wrote,

And wander’d o’er the leas;

And sung and drifted in his boat

Beneath the Bisham trees.

So let me sing, although I ’m no

Great poet of renown,

Of hours that much too quickly go

At good old Marlow town!