THE CREVALLE FISH OF FLORIDA a Poem
THE CREVALLE FISH OF FLORIDA
WHERE thy streams, Florida, wander in their wilful route,
Rippled with eddies, and with riffles bright
The angler follows the erratic way,
Taking supreme delight.
All nature with enchantments thrills his mind,
Woods, waters, meads and wildernesses green,
All rarest flowers their garlands intertwine
In that Elysian scene.
Anglers of north thro' ice-cold waters wade,
Struggling their way thro' brier, swamp and weed,
Thick bushes vexing with entangling grasp,
His pleasures to impede,
While ropes of vines and overhanging boughs
Arrest his rod and snap his line in twain,
While gusty breezes, with their Arctic breath,
Benumb the heart and brain.
Here in thy sunny realm, O Florida,
The open streams allure the angler's tread,
Open save where the orange opes its bloom,
Or water oaks droop overhead,
And sweet magnolias spread;
Here by the grassy brink of river shore,
Or by the sandy beach that hems the sea,
Inhaling draughts of purest atmosphere
He wanders glad and free.
Here off the shores the tarpums love to bask,
Or skim the surges in their wilful sweep.
Grouper and jew-fish, pompano, spot and drum,
Rare tenants of the deep.
And where gay flowers enamel all the shore
The swift crevalle swim in flashing school,
Fast by Mosquito Inlet, Indian Stream,
Where flow the currents cool.
The mullet and menhaden they pursue,
Strewing the sands with wealth of captive prey,
Where the brown pelicans may fill their pouch
And sea-birds join the fray.
Swift speed crevalle o'er that watery plain,
Swift over Indian River's broad expanse,
Swift where the ripples boil with finny hosts,
Bright glittering they glance;
And where the angler's spoon is o'er them cast
How fierce, how vigorous the fight for life!
Now in the deeps they plunge, now leap in air,
'Till ends th' unequal strife.
McLellan, Isaac. Poems of the Rod and Gun. New York: Henry Thorpe, 1886.
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