Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, THE LITTLE FISHERMAN, by ANN TAYLOR



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THE LITTLE FISHERMAN, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: There was a little fellow once
Last Line: "I will not fish again."
Subject(s): Boys; Fish & Fishing


THERE was a little fellow once,
And Harry was his name;
And many a naughty trick had he,
I tell it to his shame.

He minded not his friends' advice,
But followed his own wishes;
And one most cruel trick of his
Was that of catching fishes.

His father had a little pond,
Where often Harry went;
And there, in this unfeeling sport,
He many an evening spent.

One day he took his hook and bait,
And hurried to the pond,
And there began the cruel game,
Of which he was so fond.

And many a little fish he caught,
And pleased was he to look
To see them writhe in agony
And struggle on the hook.

At last, when having caught enough,
And also tired himself,
He hasten'd home, intending there
To put them on a shelf.

But as he jump'd to reach a dish,
To put his fishes in,
A large meat-hook, that hung close by,
Did catch him by the chin.

Poor Harry kick'd, and call'd aloud,
And scream'd, and cried, and roar'd,
While from his wound the crimson blood
In dreadful torrents pour'd.

The maids came running, frighten'd much
To see him hanging there,
And soon they took him from the hook
And set him in a chair.

The surgeon came and stopp'd the blood,
And bound his aching head;
And then they carried him upstairs,
And laid him on his bed.

Conviction darted on his mind,
As groaning there he lay,
And with compunction then he thought
About his cruel play.

"And oh," said he, "poor little fish,
What tortures they have borne:
While I, well pleased, have stood to see
Their tender bodies torn!

"Though fishermen must earn their bread,
And butchers too must slay,
That can be no excuse for me,
Who do the same in play.

"But now I know how great the smart,
How terrible the pain!
I think, while I can feel myself,
I will not fish again."





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