THE TARPUM OF FLORIDA a Poem
THE TARPUM OF FLORIDA
O SILVER-SIDED fish—the king
Of all that swim the southern sea,
The skilful angler's vaunted art
Too oft is triumph'd o'er by thee,
For naught avails his deadliest hook,
His trolling spoon, his braided line,
His manly strength, his Conroy rod,
To drag thee vanquish'd from the brine!
Off rocky reef and sandy cape,
Of Florida's low-lying coast,
These silver kings the surges haunt,
A brilliant, dashing, leaping host.
To take the salmon is an ode,
An idyl brook trout to beguile,
But tragic poem 'tis to kill
The tarpum of the southern isle.
At Homosassa's river head,
At Indian River, by the main,
The spearmen in their shallops lie,
To stab thee with the barbed grain,
In shallow reaches of the stream
Where thick submerged grasses grow
They gather, but the hostile boat
Drives them where deeper currents flow;
Then with impetuous rush they speed,
They skim the waves, they leap in air,
Their silvery sides are swift and bright
As the chain-lightning glare.
By the calm shores, where orange fruits
And brown bananas shade the tide,
And flowers embroider with their bloom
The grassy meads at water side,
These gorgeous fish, with ivory scales,
Matchless in strength, supreme in speed,
In salt lagoon or curving bay,
Rapacious, on their victims feed.
O, brother anglers, who have won
Your trophies on the northern coast,
Kill'd salmon of the Labrador,
Or striped bass, your noblest boast,
Haste hither to Floridian tides,
Haste with your choicest rod and reel
To match the tarpum with your skill,
A champion worthy of your steel.
McLellan, Isaac. Poems of the Rod and Gun. New York: Henry Thorpe, 1886.
|Are you aware that Google is offering +1 to Everyone? Share your +1 with Every One of Your Friends by looking for the +1 on websites everywhere!" |
If you liked this site, click
Order Online 24 Hours a Day, 7 Days a Week, 365 Days a Year