The River Fleet

(Sunday). To Dr. Hardy’s church, and sat with Mr. Rawlinson and heard a good sermon upon the occasion of the Duke’s death. His text was, “And is there any evil in the city and the Lord hath not done it?”
Home to dinner, having some sport with Wm., who never had been at Common Prayer before.
After dinner I alone to Westminster, where I spent my time walking up and down in Westminster Abbey all sermon time with Ben. Palmer and Fetters the watchmaker, who told me that my Lord of Oxford is also dead of the small-pox; in whom his family dies, after 600 years having that honour in their family and name. From thence to the Park, where I saw how far they had proceeded in the Pell-mell, and in making a river through the Park, which I had never seen before since it was begun. Thence to White Hall garden, where I saw the King in purple mourning for his brother.
So home, and in my way met with Dinah, who spoke to me and told me she had a desire to speak too about some business when I came to Westminster again. Which she spoke in such a manner that I was afraid she might tell me something that I would not hear of our last meeting at my house at Westminster.
Home late, being very dark. A gentleman in the Poultry had a great and dirty fall over a waterpipe that lay along the channel.

Death is walking
up and down
with the watchmaker,
who told me
how a river
I had never seen
was at home in
a great and dirty pipe.


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Sunday 16 September 1660. Thanks to my friend Hg, a Londoner, for the idea.

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