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Classic and Contemporary Poetry

BY THE PASSAIC, by                    
First Line: Where the river seeks the cover
Last Line: "rests in mine. Ah! Who can send her / thus to dangle / while iangle? / cupid, speak!"
Subject(s): Rivers

Where the river seeks the cover
Of the trees whose boughs hang over,
And the slopes are green with clover,
In the quiet month of May;
Where the eddies meet and mingle,
Babbling o'er the stony shingle,
There I angle,
There I dangle
All the day.

Oh 'tis sweet to feel the plastic
Rod, with top and butt, elastic,
Shoot the line in coils fantastic,
Till, like thistle-down, the fly
Lightly drops upon the water,
Thirsting for the finny slaughter
As I angle,
And I dangle
Mute and sly.

Then I gently shake the tackle,
Till the barbed and fatal hackle
In its tempered jaws shall shackle
That old trout, so wary grown.
Now I strike him! joy ecstatic!
Scouring runs! leaps acrobatic!
So I angle,
So I dangle
All alone.

Then when grows the sun too fervent,
And the lurking trouts, observant,
Say to me, "Your humble servant!
Now we see your treacherous hook!"
Maud, as if by hazard wholly,
Saunters down the pathway slowly
While I angle,
There to dangle
With her book.

Then somehow the rod reposes,
And the book no page uncloses;
But I read the leaves of roses
That unfold upon her cheek;
And her small hand, white and tender,
Rests in mine. Ah! who can send her
Thus to dangle
While I angle?
Cupid, speak!

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