Slow boat

Towards Westminster, from the Towre, by water, and was fain to stand upon one of the piers about the bridge, before the men could drag their boat through the lock, and which they could not do till another was called to help them.
Being through bridge I found the Thames full of boats and gallys, and upon inquiry found that there was a wager to be run this morning. So spying of Payne in a gully, I went into him, and there staid, thinking to have gone to Chelsea with them. But upon, the start, the wager boats fell foul one of another, till at last one of them gives over, pretending foul play, and so the other row away alone, and all our sport lost. So, I went ashore, at Westminster; and to the Hall I went, where it was very pleasant to see the Hall in the condition it is now with the judges on the benches at the further end of it, which I had not seen all this term till now.
Thence with Mr. Spicer, Creed and some others to drink. And so away homewards by water with Mr. Creed, whom I left in London going about business and I home, where I staid all the afternoon in the garden reading “Faber Fortunae” with great pleasure. So home to bed.

The men drag
their galley in a gully,
thinking to go to sea,
but give over and row on shore.
It was pleasant to see
with judges on the benches
going all afternoon
in the garden.


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Saturday 18 May 1661.

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