Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, TO AN OLD FRIEND, by PATRICK REGINALD CHALMERS

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TO AN OLD FRIEND, by            
First Line: The end draws near again, and very near
Last Line: To meet the first march brown!
Subject(s): Fish & Fishing; Trout; Anglers

THE end draws near again, and very near,
The first few fluttered beech leaves fall and gleam—
Light skirmishers that dog the dying year—
But still I see you down below the weir,
A shadow in the stream!

Here have you lurked since spring, in sportive guise,
Rallied the meadows to young April's rout,
Here first I marked the marvel of your size,
Here wooed you with each fleeting season's flies—
O alderman of trout!

Here, when the madcap cuckoo made his mock,
And the rathe wild-rose blushed in earliest June,
The day the mayfly hatched above the lock—
You nearly had it, didn't you, old cock,
Save that you stopped too soon?

Here have I waited as the dawn spread high,
Hoping in vain the prejudice or pique
That makes you—obviously—reject a fly
Would send you hurtling through the startled fry
To grab a proffered bleak!

Here likewise have my steps at eve been drawn,
And, as the moon made way behind the wood
(The same old moon that watched the hunting faun),
I've found the lob-worm garnered from the lawn
Did just as little good!

And now the end is near; we part a space,
You to your mud and I to mine—in town;
May Easter find us at the trysting-place,
There where the dancing bubbles spin and race,
To meet the first March Brown!

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