WHERE inlet of the Barnegat
Opes to the tumbling surf its gate
When the young-flood tide washes in
Limpet and crab, a welcome bait;
Then where the affluent current pours
The deepest o'er its muddy floors,
The greedy sheepshead hidden lie,
To seize whatever may float by.
And there in little boat that swings
At anchor in the flowing tides,
The angler line and plummet flings,
And takes the robber when he wills.
Patient and motionless he waits,
Unmindful of all meaner prize;
His hand upon the humming line,
Fix'd on his task his eager eyes;
The flashing blue-fish may rush by,
The pig-like porpoise tumble near,
The dusky shark may lash the foam,
And sturgeon from the wave leap clear.
He heeds notóbut awaits the jerk
Of sheep's-head, deep below that lurk.
Far down the Bay, where salter tides
And stronger, fiercer current pours,
Where Absecum its inlet opes
Between its shelving, sandy shores,ó
There, too, the fishermen resort,
For pleasant pastime, noble sport,
And pluck triumphant from the deeps
The treasure that old ocean keeps.
McLellan, Isaac. Poems of the Rod and Gun. New York: Henry Thorpe, 1886.
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