Salmo Fontinalis, Snatching Flies the Livelong Day

Plate from The Speckled Brook Trout c. 1902
Plate from The Speckled Brook Trout © 1902

Poem from The Speckled Brook Trout, © 1902 by Louis Head:

I am Salmo Fontinalis,
To the sparkling fountain born,
And my home is where oxalis,
Heather bell and rose adorn
The crystal basin in the dell,
(Undine the wood-nymph knows it well,)
That is where I love to dwell.

There was I baptized and christened,
‘Neath the sombre aisles of oak,
Mute the cascade paused and listened.
Never a word the brooklet spoke
Bobolink was witness then,
Likewise Ousel, Linnet, Wren,
And all the brownies joined ” amen.”

Noted oft in ancient story.
Erst from immemorial time,
Poets, anglers, hermits hoary
Confirm my vested rights sublime.
All along the mountain range,
” ‘Tis writ in mystic symbols strange :
” Naught shall abrogate or change.”

Thus as Salmo Fontinalis
Recognized the wide world o’er,*
In my limpid crystal palace,
Content withal, I ask no more
Leaping through the rainbow spray,
Snatching flies the livelong day.
Naught to do but live and play.

* But scientists have changed this most appropriate designation to
S. Salvelinus, more’s the pity

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