Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Voices from the Past: F.B. Doveton (1881)

This charming little poem was originally published in 1881 in The English Fishing Gazette. F.B. Doveton was a cousin of the famed writer Rider Haggard, and a poet of some note in his native Britain. He spent most of his career in the army, and was a noted angler, which is why fishing was a popular theme of his verse.

Frederick Bazett Doveton was a very respected Devonshire poet born in 1841 in Exexter to the late Captain F.B. Doveton of the Royal Madras Fusileers; his father was involved in the Sepoy Rebellion and wrote of his exploits, and his son later spent time in the same brigade.

The author of a number of works of prose and verse, Doveton collected his angling and outdoor poems under the title A Fisherman's Fancies in 1895.


by F. B Doveton

The night was cold—a "nipping air!"
I looked into the blaze. 

And saw some long lost faces there.
My friends of other days! 

They seemed to stand beside a stream,
Whilst yet the year was young;

And sweetly in the Land of Dream
A tender throstle sung.

The flowers of spring were blooming nigh,
The beck was white with foam, 

And deftly did I cast my fly
Into the troutlets' home! 

They madly dashed at the deceit,
For they were blythe and bold;

But soon they glistened at my feet,
Arrayed in red and gold!

The welkin rung with softest song,
While cloudlets swam above;
As I moved dreamily along.
The earth seemed full of love! 

I saw the marigold's fierce fire,
And felt the scented gale,
And still the throstle did not tire
Within that haunted vale!

Anon a pool lurked dark and deep.
Where lights and shades did play,

And then my fly, with airy sweep,
Was sped upon its way!

A sudden plunge, that tried my art,
A lusty trout—no doubt!

Then did I waken with a start
To find the fire—out!

-- Dr. Todd

No comments: