Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Voices from the Past: R.L. Stringfellow (1904)

Although the style of this poem is antiquated, I kind of like it. It's from R.S. Stringfellow and was published in the June 1904 Recreation magazine.

Somewhere I have read of an angler, 

W'ho gained a wondrous fame.

He lived in the land of Israel; 

St. Peter was his name. 

"I go a-fishing." he said one day 

To his friends in Galilee; 

"I go a-fishing." 
So says the Book; 

And off he went with line and hook, 
A-fishing in the sea. 

Since then along that storm-beat shore 

Many a wave and billow roar; 

And in the rush of wave and blast 

Many a life has breathed its last. 
But still the anglers go!

"I go a-fishing." 'tis often said. 

Although St. Peter's long since dead. 

But the words of this reverend saint and sage, 

There on the good Book's sacred page, 

Live on and on from age to age, 
And still the fishers go! 

"I go a-fishing!" Three fishers, this time, 

Will be the subjects of my rhyme. 

'Twas in midsummer's sweltering days; 

The sun beat down with scorching rays, 

When off to the West these fishers went, 

With heart and mind on pleasure bent, 

Away to the West, these fishers three. 

With jocund song, right merrily 
They pass the time away! 

"I go a-fishing!" Three fishers bold 

Now emulate the saints of old. 

To mountain stream and shady nook, 

Afar with rod and line and hook. 

They make their way; through hot sunshine. 
To where, 'neath shady cliff and pine, 

They hope, if fortune prove so kind, 

On speckled trout they soon may dine! 
So lived the saints of old! 

"I go a-fishing," now each one said. 
"The spot we've reached and camp is made":
And soon beneath the cooling shade, 

With boots waist-high, the stream they 
The joyous time flies all too fast. 

While here and there with fly they cast; 

And in each boiling crystal pool 

Some wily trout would play the fool— 
Much to the angler's joy! 

Rut all too fast the moments fly, 

The time has come to say good-bye. 

Rack to town and dusty street, 

Back to sun and sweltering heat. 

But memory sweet shall still be mine, 

I'll think and sing of auld lang syne; 

And the good old angler of Galilee 

My guardian saint, I trust, will be! 

-- Dr. Todd

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