THE SEAL AT LABRADOR a Poem
THE SEAL AT LABRADOR
A THWART the river's brimming flood,
Behold the tumbling seals at play!
Now diving in the seething deeps
Now dashing o'er the boiling spray;
Their round black heads now rise, now sink,
Still watchful of the rifle's aim,
Still mindful of the birch canoe
And Indian lurking for his game.
Perch'd on some brown, weed-tangled rock
They bask luxurious in the sun,
Watching the salmon's flashing leap,
As thro' the surging tides they run;
And here they teach their young the art
To swim, to dive, to clutch the prey,
The art the salmon to o'ertake,
The salmon of the watery way.
The finny tribes, with bright scales lin'd,
Painted beyond the limner's art,
In meteoric brightness flash,
With lightning speed the waters part;
Yet swifter, with rapacious jaws,
The plunging seals their victims snare.
Then bear them to some darkling pool,
With their swart cubs the spoil to share.
Stout sealing vessel! that doth spread
In stormy seas the venturous sail,
Battling with walrus and with seal,
And grappling with the mighty whale,
I love o'er frozen realms remote
To follow thce where'er you float.
McLellan, Isaac. Poems of the Rod and Gun. New York: Henry Thorpe, 1886.
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