THE LAST CAST
A PILE of gold—a precious hoard—
Gleams on the green cloth of the board;
A wealth that might buy house and land,
Gain every luxury at command.
A gambler with delirious haste
His final, fateful card doth cast,
And wins the treasure at the last.
A boat across the ocean blue
Is drifting with a shipwreck'd crew.
O'erloaded, it must meet its fate,
Unless reliev'd of human weight.
So dice are thrown for blank or prize,
And he that casts the least throw, dies.
The loser his last chance hath thrown,
And is cast overboard to drown.
A hunter over Afric's space
Meets a grim lion, face to face:
With frantic haste he speeds the ball—
Aim true, or death must sure befall;
The aim is true—the monster dies,
The latest bullet wins the prize.
An angler by a mountain brook
Ties on his final feathered hook.
A big trout, rich with spotted sides,
The dimpled rivulet divides,
The open season ends to-day,
This his last chance for finny prey;
Breathless he makes his anxious cast,
Secures his rich prize and his last.
A fisher on Superior's Lake
With but one bait the spoil to take;
A noble bass of wondrous size
Dashes to seize the luring prize.
That creature of the rainbow fins
Is captive, and the last cast wins.
The waves run cold, the seas frown bleak,
The fish-tribes sunnier pastures seek;
The seiners gather at the main
To run the long-extended seine;
One only glittering school is there
To tempt the meshes of the snare;
With toil of arm and tug of oar,
The last cast heaps with wealth the shore.
McLellan, Isaac. Poems of the Rod and Gun. New York: Henry Thorpe, 1886.
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