Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Voices from the Past: Ernest McGaffey (1882)

Here is a charming angling poem from one of my favorite Victorian poets, Ernest McGaffey, from his 1882 book Poems of Gun and Rod.


by Ernest McGaffey

A Rod for bass and wall-eyed pike
When over sandy shoals they throng,
Adapted both to "cast" or "strike,"
Of split bamboo and lithe and long,
With pliant tip that wavers like
Some shivering aspen slim and strong.

And at the butt the clicking reel 

With braided silken line is wound,
A miniature of fortune's wheel
When a good fish the lure has found,
And in your nervous grip you feel 

Its shining circle whirl around.

A good plain rod by all that's fair, 

And whips the water like a thong,
In Northern lakes all lonely where 

The muskalunge and bass belong ;
Supple and straight beyond compare,

And worthy of a better song.

-- Dr. Todd

1 comment:

historywriter said...


Found your blog while googling. My museum is doing an exhibit on recreation (1880-1960) and fishing is one of the sections. Looking for info on early fishing magazines, stating in the 1880s.