April 03, 2011

The Angler’s Songbook by Robert Blakey (1855)

So I recently got my hands on a copy of an interesting little book, The Angler’s Songbook by Robert Blakey (1855). It’s an interesting collection to thumb through and as I was doing so this morning I spotted a brief poem that Blake had apparently found scrawled in pencil by an unknown hand in an 1820 copy of Slater’s Angler (apparently an early fishing publication). Maybe it was the author’s mysterious identity or the fact that spring is in the offing, but I found it rather enjoyable.

To the stream let us go,
Where the hawthorns do blow,
And inhale the sweet balm of the vale;
Wish our rods tight and right,
And our flies in good plight,
Our spirits with joy we’ll regale.

No pastimes and pleasures,
No wealth nor no treasures,
Can yield us so much real delight;
As to throw the light fly,
And with quick skilful eye,
Hook the salmon—sportive and bright.

He leaps back and before,
Runs to deeps and to shore,
Then yields up his strength to our skill;
We sieze hold of the boon,
Turn our steps to the town,—-
To muse on the sports of the rill.

-Uknown (1820)


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