LOVELIEST of all the tribes that swim
The ocean's salty tides,
The Spanish mackerel sweeps the seas,
And like a meteor glides;
It speeds far off the harbor-bar,
Where tides are cool and deep,
Shunning the shoals that skirt the shore,
Where the swift bluefish leap.
The tenants of the brook and lake
In glories ne'er compare
With these gay rovers of the main,
Painted with colorings rare.
Pompano bright with yellow gold,
Strip'd bass of snowy sheen,
The drumfish blazing with its red,
Bonito splash'd with blue and green,
No rivals have in inland stream,
No peers with such bright gleam.
Symmetric with its rounded form.
Model of speed and grace,
No fairer seafish skims the wave
Or swifter darts in race.
Its sides are azure as the skies,
Beneath melt tender blues,
While golden spots of virgin gold
The shapely forms suffuse.
It is a nomad of the deep,
A pilgrim, migratory host,
In Mediterranean tides first seen,
Now known on every coast.
Off Carolina's reefs they sweep,
Oil Barnegat's sand bar;
In Sound and Gulf of Northern shore,
They gather fast and far;
And yachtsmen o'er the billows blue
Their plunging multitudes pursue.
When sounds the gong of grand hotel,
And spread is sumptuous board
Rich with the spoils of sea and land,
Where wit and wine profuse are pour'd,
Where smokes the lordly, crisp sirloin,
Brown haunch of venison too,
The canvasback of Chesapeake,
Salmon from surges blue,
The gourmand finds no daintier dish
Than this delicious mackerel fish.
McLellan, Isaac. Poems of the Rod and Gun. New York: Henry Thorpe, 1886.
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