The River Thames

Having taken our leaves of Sir W. Batten and my Lady, who are gone this morning to keep their Whitsuntide, Sir W. Pen and I and Mr. Gauden by water to Woolwich, and there went from ship to ship to give order for and take notice of their forwardness to go forth, and then to Deptford and did the like, having dined at Woolwich with Captain Poole at the tavern there.
From Deptford we walked to Redriffe, calling at the half-way house, and there come into a room where there was infinite of new cakes placed that are made against Whitsuntide, and there we were very merry.
By water home, and there did businesses of the office. Among others got my Lord’s imprest of 1000l. and Mr. Creeds of 10,000l. against this voyage their bills signed. Having wrote letters into the country and read some things I went to bed.

The tide went from ship to ship
like a captain at the tavern
calling at a room
where there was infinite cake—
water in the reeds,
a voyage into some bed.


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Saturday 1 June 1661.

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