THOUGH keen the blast sweeps free and wide,
With blood half frozen in his vein,
The fisher, o'er the icy tide,
Heeds neither pelting hail nor rain.
With eye intent upon his task
He toileth all the winter day,
And soon the clear transparent ice
Is glittering with silver prey.
And in the autumn's latest time,
When first the streams run icy-cold;
In Indian summer's ruddy prime,
When maple leaves are touch'd with gold,
And all the dim and smoky air
Tempers the sunshine's steady glare, —
Then up the salty tides that flow
And ebb along the river-shore,
With silken line and tapering rod
He loves the waters to explore,
And take the sheeny smelt that gleam
Athwart the ripples of the stream.
Then oft to city wharf and pier
The youthful angler makes resort,
Rejoicing in the pastime dear,
Charm'd with the well-rewarded sport.
In winter days the frozen bays
Are whiten'd with the fisher's tent,
Like scene of war, when white and far
Outspreads the pitch'd encampment.
Then blithely rings the skater's steel,
As round in circling sweep he flies,
Tending his lines, and prompt to snatch
From air-hole his resplendent prize.
McLellan, Isaac. Poems of the Rod and Gun. New York: Henry Thorpe, 1886.
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