The Bluefish

(Pomatomus Saltatrix.)

It is a brave, a royal sport, 
   Trolling for bluefish o'er the seas; 
Fair skies and soaring gulls above, 
   A steady blowing breeze; 
A shapely yacht whose foaming prow 
   The billowy plain divides, 
That like a gallant courser speeds 
   Far, free o'er ocean tides. 

First from West India seas they came, 
   Haunting the Cuban coast, 
Cruel as Spanish buccaneers, 
   A fierce, rapacious host. 
But now by Northern seaboard shores 
   Their murderous way they take, 
From Mexic Gulf to Labrador, 
   Wherever billows break. 
The weaker tenants of the main 
Flee from their rage in vain, 
The vast menhaden multitudes 
   They massacre o'er the flood; 
With lashing tail, with snapping teeth 
   They stain the tides with blood. 

Rakish are they, like pirate craft, 
   All matchless to assail, 
With graceful, shapely, rounded sides 
   And the sharp, forked tail; 
And when the angler's hook is fixed 
   They fight, they struggling bleed, 
Now leaping high, now plunging deep, 
   Darting with lightning speed. 

And yet these sea marauders, 
   These tyrants of the main, 
By fiercer, mightier ruffians 
   Are hunted, conquered, slain; 
The tumbling porpoise hunts them, 
   Dorado fierce pursues, 
And when the shark assaileth, 
   Blood-stains the waves suffuse.

This poem is in the public domain.