THE BOYS AND THE BERGALLS a Poem
THE BOYS AND THE BERGALLS
UNSCRUPULOUS fishes are they!
How they nibble—purloining the bait,
Secure it ere blackfish may bite,
So eager and quick for the prey!
It is the boy-anglers' delight
To lean o'er the wharf or the pier,
While they broil in the blaze of the sun,
Dropping lines while the salt tides run clear.
They envy no anglers equipt
With the costliest tackle and reel,
With the fine jointed rod, silver-tipt,
With landing-net, fly-hook, and creel—
The anglers abounding in wealth,
Who may travel for sport far and wide,
And cast on the Labrador coast
For salmon that swarm in the tide.
Oft where the clear rivulet pours
Through meadow or rocky ravine,
The anglers may seek for the trout
That lurk in the waters serene ;
And yet these poor children receive
Purer bliss than those anglers enjoy ;
No regret and no envy disturbs
The simple pastimes of the boy.
And, methinks, the pleasures supreme,
When their hearts with success are elate,
Are more true, more ecstatic, than joys
Of the wealthy, the proud, and the great.
When the holiday season arrives,
And the school-bells may summon no more,
See them issue from alley and street
And haste to the banks of the shore !
Their victims are poor, it is true—
The sea-perch, the puny bergall,
All rough with the scales and the spines,
Yet how great is the glory of all!
'Mid the green, slimy spiles of the pier,
Where the shells and the barnacles cling,
Now, hopeful, the plummet they drop ;
Now, eager, the fish-line they fling.
How welcome each dusky brown prize!
What treasures they draw from the tide !
How triumphant their march to their homes,
Each bearing his burden with pride!
McLellan, Isaac. Poems of the Rod and Gun. New York: Henry Thorpe, 1886.
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