EARLY FISHING SCENES UNDER THE OLD "HOPE-WALK," AT FOOT OF BOSTON COMMON, NOW OCCUPIED BY THE PUBLIC GARDEN AND BY BLOCKS OF ELEGANT MANSIONS.
YES, 'tis the haunt of early years,
The joyous holiday resort,
Where, in the happy afternoon,
We came for childish sport;
The scenes, the joys of vanish'd time
On memory's tablet glow,
The ecstasies of youthful life,
The bliss of long ago !
'Twas here the ancient structure stretch'd,
The brown old timbers stood,
The weather-beaten platform too,
That spann'd the rising flood;
And here our rosy little band,
When tides did ebb or flow,
Would cluster like a swarm of bees
Rang'd in a crowded row.
Our slender, homely fish-rods then
Would line the friendly pier,
And oh, what gleeful shouts arose,
What gay, light-hearted cheer,
As each one jerk'd the shiny prize,
The ribb'd, the struggling prey,
That filled our wicker creels with wealth,
Our hearts with joy that day!
I gaze aroundóbut all so strange !
Sure some enchanter's wand
Hath chang'd the scenes where waters flowed,
And now are solid land !
There where the little angler lean'd,
The swimmer stemm'd the tide,
The "Public Garden" I behold,
And mansions far and wide.
Yet yonder, as in days of yore,
The " Common" spreads its space,
There waved the " Great Elm" o'er the pond
So oft our trysting-place ;
And still the green and grassy slopes
Their billowy hillocks spread,
Where oft we chas'd the bounding ball
Or " coasted " with the sled.
I see the " State House" lift its dome,
The " Park Street's" soaring spire,
And little children run the race
As if they ne'er would tire.
But these are not the groups I knew
In glimmering years of old;
Their names are writ on tablets,
Their forms rest in the mould.
McLellan, Isaac. Poems of the Rod and Gun. New York: Henry Thorpe, 1886.
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