You’ve given three cheers for your dustmen
Your sailors and soldiers too
What about three for your fishermen
Who fish for the likes of you
I’ve stood in this market place forty years
And believe me, folks, when I say
Tomorrow is pancake Friday
And I’ve caught no kippers today
So give three cheers for your fishermen
Give three cheers, please do
What good are [...]
OF THE NAME OF WHITING
Sure Whiting is no fasting Dish,
Let priests say what they dare;
I’d rather have my dainty Fish,
Than all their Christmas fare.
So sweet, so innocent, so free,
From all that tends to strife ;
O! happy man! whose lot shall be
To swim with her through life.
Whatever Bait, love e’er could make.
In the brown water,
Thick and silver-sheened in the sunshine,
Liquid and cool in the shade of the reeds,
A pike dozed.
Lost among the shadows of stems
He lay unnoticed.
Suddenly he flicked his tail,
And a green-and-copper brightness
Ran under the water.
Out from under the reeds
Came the olive-green light,
And orange flashed up
Through the sun-thickened water.
So the fish [...]
Naughty little speckled trout,
Can’t I coax you to come out?
Is it such great fun to play
In the water every day?
Do you pull the Naiads’ hair*
Hiding in the lilies there?
Do you hunt for fishes’ eggs,
Or watch tadpoles grow their legs?
Do the little trouts have school
In some deep [...]
In a cool curving world he lies
And ripples with dark ecstasies.
The kind luxurious lapse and steal
Shapes all his universe to feel
And know and be; the clinging stream
Closes his memory, glooms his dream,
Who lips the roots o’ the shore, and glides
Superb on unreturning tides.
Those silent waters weave for him
A fluctuant mutable world and dim,
Where wavering masses [...]
I Know a Jew fish crier down on Maxwell Street with a
voice like a north wind blowing over corn stubble
He dangles herring before prospective customers evinc-
ing a joy identical with that of Pavlowa dancing.
His face is that of a man terribly glad to be selling fish,
terribly glad that God made fish, [...]
Most chivalrous fish of the ocean,
To ladies forbearing and mild,
Though his record be dark, is the man-eating shark
Who will eat neither woman nor child.
He dines upon seamen and skippers,
And tourists his hunger assuage,
And a fresh cabin boy will inspire him with joy
If he’s past the maturity age.
A doctor, a lawyer, a preacher,
He’ll gobble [...]
ON the bleak shore of Norway, I’ve lately been told,
Large numbers of cod-fish are found,
And the animals’ livers are afterwards sold
At so many “pfennigs” per pound;
From which is extracted, with infinite toil,
A villainous fluid called cod-liver oil!
Now, I don’t mind a powder, a pill, or a draught—
Though I mingle the former with [...]
SAINT ANTHONY at church
Was left in the lurch,
So he went to the ditches
And preached to the fishes.
They wriggled their tails,
In the sun glanced their scales.
The carps, with their spawn,
Are all thither drawn;
Have opened their jaws,
Eager for each clause.
No sermon beside
Had the carps so edified.
Who keep fighting like tikes,
Now swam [...]
“The Herring he loves the merry moonlight
And the Mackerel loves the wind,
But the Oyster loves the dredging song
For he comes of a gentler kind.”
HAH! there I have thee—nay,
A puny youngster, pert in littleness!
In thy brief hour, thou ill hast learn’d the way
Of this false world’s address.
It seem’d thy young eye saw
For thy keen stomach a delicious treat;
From lowly angler to the proud bashaw,
Know, man is all deceit!
Thy silver blushing side,
Fish, oh Fish,
So little matters!
Whether the waters rise and cover the earth
Or whether the waters wilt in the hollow places,
All one to you.
As the waters roll
The waters wash,
You wash in oneness
And never emerge.
Your life a sluice of sensation along your sides,
A flush at the flails of your fins, down the [...]
You strange, astonish’d-looking, angle-faced,
Dreary-mouth’d, gaping wretches of the sea,
Gulping salt water everlastingly,
Cold-blooded, though with red your blood be graced
And mute, though dwellers in the roaring waste;*
And you, all shapes beside, that fishy be,
Some round, some flat, some long, all devilry,
Legless, unloving, infamously chaste;
O scaly, slippery, wet, swift, [...]
Be not sparing,
Leave off swearing.
Buy my herring
Fresh from Malahide,*
Better never was tried.
Come, eat them with pure fresh butter and mustard,
Their bellies are soft, and as white as a custard.
Come, sixpence a-dozen, to get me some bread,
Or, like my own herrings, I soon shall be dead.
* Malahide, a village five miles from [...]
Fish Poem: To The Immortal Memory Of The Halibut On Which I Dined This Day, Monday, April 26, 1784 By William Cowper
WHERE hast thou floated, in what seas pursu’d
Thy pastime? When wast thou an egg new spawn’d,
Lost in the immensity of ocean’s waste?
Roar as they might, the overbearing winds
That rock’d the deep, thy cradle, thou wast safe–
And in thy minikin and embryo state,
Attach’d to the firm leaf of some salt weed,
Didst outlive tempests, such as wrung [...]