HERE where the willowy thickets lave
Their drooping tassels beneath the wave,
There lies a deep and darken'd pool
Whose waters are crystal-clear and cool;
It is fed by many a gurgling fount
That trickles from upland pasture and mount,
And where the tree-shadows full dense and dim,
The glittering trout securely swim.
It is a weird and mysterious spot,
A ravine hollow'd for fairy grot;
Where mossy boulders and branches that lean
O'er the dark abyss are kept ever green;
For the gushing spout of a waterfall,
That leaps o'er the sloping granite wall,
With its refreshing foam and its spray
Keeps herbage and foliage forever gay.
'Twould seem as though fairy fingers had flung
Their prodigal wreaths, o'er the branches hung;
The delicate woodbine tendrils swing,
The glossy-leaved ivies closely cling;
The grape-vine clambers from shoot to shoot,
Waving its purple clusters of fruit;
The tree honeysuckle sheds perfume,
The laurel is lavish with rosy bloom.
And here, where the eddies, so pearly-white,
Sink away into gloom or wheel into light;
Where the trunk of decaying pine-tree doth throw
Its leaning bridge o'er the current's flow,
The patient angler, with rod and line,
May cast his flies and his tackle so fine,
And soon his basket a treasure will hold
Of azure fishes o'erspangled with gold.
Tis a wild, wizard place, for the shadows that rest
O'er the cavernous grot, o'er the rivulet's breast,
Seem ever so weird and so mystical there
That men sny 'tis haunt of the spirits of air—
That strange goblin shapes, grotesque and immense,
Are disclos'd to the passer-by's terrified sense,
And ne'er will the ghost-frighted school-child invade
With footsteps intrusive the gloom of the shade.
In the meadows below, neither thicket nor bush
Cast their shadowy screen o'er the rivulet's gush,
But boiling o'er pebbles, and bright in the sun,
The frolicsome waters all twinkle and run;
And there, when the cloud-shadows darken the day,
The skill of the angler will triumph with prey,
And his creel overflow with glittering prize,—•
With trout all enamell'd and radiant with dyes.
McLellan, Isaac. Poems of the Rod and Gun. New York: Henry Thorpe, 1886.
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