ON READING G. C. SCOTT'S "FISHING IN AMERICAN WATERS," IN WINTER a Poem
ON READING G. C. SCOTT'S "FISHING IN AMERICAN WATERS," IN WINTER.
MUSING o'er these fair pages, I forget
These falling snows and the white, crystal ice
That freeze all nature in this wintry day,
But taste in fancy the refreshing airs
Of spring-time with its roses and its blooms.
What though the twisting brook lies mute and still,
The frozen water-wheel revolves no more,
In adamantine death the river rests,
And grinding ice-floes chafe the dreary coast?
Still in these pages I recall once more
The voice of waters, and explore again
The flowing brook and grassy-margin'd stream.
I seem to see along the wither'd woods,
O'er willow thicket and o'er alder copse,
O'er the brown herbage of the upland field,
And down the dipping hollows of the vale,
A soft bright verdure, tremulous and green,
Creeping and rustling o'er the landscape's face.
The brook, releas'd from iron bondage, leaps
And laughs and runs exultingly away;
The river gleams and ripples into light,
Singing, with all its waters as it flows
Past sandy coves and under branching groves.
Again the spring-trout, with his spotted side.
Flashes o'er sandy shoal and purple deeps;
Again the spangled salmon of the sea
Cleaves the salt surf and leaps the crystal fall;
Again the bass, with silver scales emboss'd,
Gleams in the combing breakers of the shore.
Celestial fancy with her fairy wand
Enchants each wintry landscape till it smiles;
Far off, immense, each Northern lake expands
The vast extent of all its watery world,—
Its dark abysses, its transparent coves,
Its tranquil bays, its forest-girdled edge,
And all the blissful haunts the angler loves.
O thoughtful angler! loving well the toil
To tread the tangled brook or river-marge,
To wield the tapering rod o'er ocean tides,
Or breezy gulf, or inland lakes immense,
We thank thee for the lessons thou hast taught—
This added treasure to the angler's lore.
Fair smile the skies, and soft may breezes blow
(The soft south breeze—to angler's heart so dear),
And green may blossoming groves their garlands show.
And woodland choristers fresh tune their harps,
When thou dost follow in the coming year
The gentle angler's meditative art.
McLellan, Isaac. Poems of the Rod and Gun. New York: Henry Thorpe, 1886.
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