I read William Blake's poem 'The Blossom' from the Songs of Innocence. It's very short and quite weird with the juxtaposition of the happy blossom and other happy images with a bird in a narrow cradle and the robin sobbing, and both close to the blossom's bosom.
The short story I read was 'The Trout' by Sean O'Farlain, published in 1947. This was a strange story about a girl who finds a trout in a dark, concealed well in a dark laurel tunnel. She's bothered by the fish and can't sleep and goes out to rescue it and take it to the river, after which she looks forward to the rivers of joy which are her holidays. I loved some of the writing, such as: 'she came to the cool ooze of the river's bank where the moon-mice on the water crept into her feet.' The river is a metaphor for freedom and happiness, and Julia grows from being scared to enter the tunnel in the day to being brave enough to go in alone at night to free the fish.
The essay I read was Ben Jonson's 'De Shakespeare Nostrat'. Ben Jonson lived from 1573 to 1635, and so was a contemporary of Shakespeare (1564 to 1616). Jonson pokes fun at Shakespeare saying his company boast he never blotted out a line, but 'would that he had blotted a thousand'. He says there is more in him to be praised than pardoned, and Shakespeare appears to have been funny and full of wit. There's no hint of Jonson thinking Shakespeare wasn't the author of the plays.
I picked those at random from books I already have, and since it was late when I started, I picked short ones.
This morning I wrote a short story.