RIVAL PLEASURES OF SEA-WATER AND FRESHWATER FISHING a Poem
RIVAL PLEASURES OF SEA-WATER AND FRESHWATER FISHING
OH, how pleasant to stand at the water-side
When the soft south wind blows o'er the tide!
At bend of river where willows droop
Their trailing branches, a lovely group!
With belt of trees on either bank,
Where sedge and osiers grow green and rank;
Broad meadows sloping to each brink
Where browsing cattle stoop to drink,
The air all musical with the breeze,
The song of birds, the hum of bees,
With the lulling sound the ripples make
As over the shallow reef they break,
The muffled voice of the waterfall
Where it pours o'er the mill-dam's stony wall;
Ah, these are sights and sounds that fill
The angler's bosom with a thrill;
As he casts his line, what perfect bliss!
Earth hath no paradise like this.
Then, too, to him what rare delight
To follow the trout-brook in its flight,
Now rippling, eddying on its way,
Gleaming, rejoicing in light of day,
Where it runs thro' the pasture's open space
Gliding at will in gleeful race;
Now stealing into the densest shade
By the o'erleaning alders made,
Now wheeling around some sunken root,
With arrowy speed and sudden shoot,
And here is the angler's joy supreme,
Enriched with the treasures of the stream!
And yet the fisher's steps explore
With equal joy the salt sea shore,
Skims in his yacht the breezy bay,
Where schools of the leaping bluefish play;
Stemming the boiling tides with prow
That cleaves the billows like the plow;
And here he casts the humming line
To snatch the weakflsh from the brine.
Off where the tumbling billows roar,
Afar from ledge or bar of shore,
He drops his anchor, casts his bait,
The snap, the nibble to await;
And soon the flapping spoil is won,
The sea bass blue, the blackfish dun,
And thinks no joys may rival these
The angling pastimes of the seas.
Yes, bliss ecstatic will fill the heart
Of angler in all his varied art,
Whether he tracks the woodland brooks
With silken tackle and feather'd hooks,
Seeking in depths of pond or lake
The tenants of those haunts to take,
Or dropping in the sea his line
To lure the fish-schools of the brine;
Finding forever joy in woods,
Forever joy in ocean floods.
McLellan, Isaac. Poems of the Rod and Gun. New York: Henry Thorpe, 1886.
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