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Mark Olival-Bartley studied applied linguistics at Hawaii Pacific University, attaining B.A. and M.A. degrees in TESOL, and poetry at the City College of New York. He is now anatomizing the prosody of E. A. Robinson’s sonnets for his dissertation at Amerika Institut of LMU Munich, where also he edits a poetry weekly. His poems and translations have appeared in journals on both sides of the Atlantic. He is the resident poet at EcoHealth, where his science-themed verse is regularly featured, and a senior copyeditor of Review of International American Studies.


On a Bank as I Sat A-Fishing

   A Description of the Spring

by Sir Henry Wotton

This day Dame Nature seemed in love;
The lusty sap began to move;
Fresh juice did stir th’ embracing vines,
And birds had drawn their valentines;
The jealous trout that low did lie        
Rose at the well-dissembled fly;
There stood my friend, with patient skill
Attending of his trembling quill.
Already were the eaves possess’d
With the swift pilgrim’s daubèd nest;        
The groves already did rejoice
In Philomel’s triumphing voice;
The showers were short, the weather mild,
The morning fresh, the evening smiled;
Joan takes her neat-rubbed pail, and now        
She trips to milk the sand-red cow;
Where for some sturdy football swain
Joan strokes a syllabub or twain;
The fields and gardens were beset
With tulip, crocus, violet;        
And now, though late the modest rose
Did more than half a blush disclose,
Thus all looked gay and full of cheer
To welcome the new-liveried year.

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