« AnteriorContinuar »
high and almost precipitous banks—covered, at the time, with russet woods. A kind of mystery attaches itself to gyrating water, due perhaps to the fact that we are to some extent ignorant of the direction of its force. It is said that at certain points of the whirlpool, pine-trees are sucked down, to be ejected mysteriously elsewhere. The water is of the brightest emerald-green. The gorge through which it escapes is narrow, and the motion of the river swift though silent. The surface is steeply inclined, but it is perfectly unbroken. There are no lateral waves, no ripples with their breaking bubbles to raise a murmur; while the depth is here too great to allow the inequality of the bed to ruffle the surface. Nothing can be more beautiful than this sloping liquid mirror formed by the Niagara, in sliding from the whirlpool.
AND is this-Yarrow 1—This the stream
Of which my fancy cherished
An image that hath perished ?
To utter notes of gladness,
That fills my heart with sadness!
Yet why ?-a silvery current flows
With uncontrolled meanderings ;
Been soothed, in all my wanderings.
Is visibly delighted ;
Is in the mirror slighted.
A blue sky bends o'er Yarrow Vale,
Save where that pearly whiteness
A tender hazy brightness ;
All profitless dejection;
A pensive recollection.
Where was it that the famous Flower
Of Yarrow Vale lay bleeding ? His bed perchance was yon smooth mound
On which the herd is feeding : And haply from this crystal pool,
Now peaceful as the morning, The water-wraith ascended thrice
And gave his doleful warning.
Delicious us the lay that sings
The haunts of happy lovers,
The leafy grove that covers :
That paints, by strength of sorrow, The unconquerable strength of love ;
Bear witness, rueful Yarrow !
But thou that didst appear so fair
To fond imagination,
Her delicate creation :
A softness still and holy ;
And pastoral melancholy.
That region left, the vale unfolds
Rich groves of lofty stature,
Of cultivated nature ;
Behold, a ruin hoary!
Renowned in Border story.
Fair scenes for childhood's opening bloom,
For sportive youth to stray in ;
And age to wear away in !
A covert for protection
The brood of chaste affection,
How sweet, on this autumnal day,
The wild-wood fruits to gather,
A crest of blooming heather !
'Twere no offence to reason ;
To meet the wintry season.
I see—but not by sight alone,
Loved Yarrow, have I won thee?
Her sunshine plays upon thee !
A course of lively pleasure ;
Accordant to the measure.
The vapours linger round the heights,
They melt—and soon must vanish ;
Sad thought, which I would banish,
Thy genuine image, Yarrow !
FLY FISHING IN THE RIVER DOVE.
Dialogue between Piscator (an angler) and Viator (a wayfarer). Piscator. Boy ! come, give me my dubbing-bag here presently ; and now, sir, since I find you so honest a man, I will make no scruple to lay open my treasure before you.
Viator. Did ever any one see the like! What a heap of trumpery is here ! Certainly never an angler in Europe has his shop half so well furnished as you have.
Pisc. You, perhaps, may think now, that I rake together this trumpery, as you call it, for show only; to the end that such as see it, which are not many, I assure you, may think me a great master in the art of angling ; but, let me tell you, here are some colours, as contemptible as they seem here, that are very hard to be got; and scarce any one of them which, if it should be lost, I should not miss, and be concerned about the loss of it, too, once in the year. But look you, sir, amongst all these I will choose out these two colours only; and with one or both of these you shall take trout or grayling this very day, notwithstanding all disadvantages, or my art shall fail me.
Viat. You promise comfortably, and I have a great deal of reason to believe everything you say ; but I wish the fly were made, that we were at it.
Pisc. That will not be long in doing: and pray observe then. You see first how I hold my hook, and thus I begin. Look you, here are my first two or three whips about the bare hook ; thus I join hook and line ; thus I put on my wings; thus I twirl and lap on my dubbing ; thus I work it up towards the head ; thus I part my wings; thus I nip my superfluous dubbing from my silk; thus fasten ; thus trim and adjust my fly; and there's a fly made; and now, how do you like it?
Viat. In earnest, admirably well, and it perfectly resenibles a fly; but we about London make the bodies of our flies both much bigger and longer, so long as even almost to the very beard of the hook.
Pisc. I know it very well, and had one of those flies given me by an honest gentleman, who came with my father Walton to give me a visit ; which (to tell you the truth) I hung in my parlour window to laugh at; but, sir, you know the proverb, 'They who go to Rome must do as they at Rome do;' and believe me, you must here make your flies after this fashion, or you will take no fish. Come, I will look you out a line, and you shall put it on, and try it. There, sir, now I think you are fitted ; and now beyond the farther end of the walk you shall begin : I see, at that bend of the water above, the air crisps the water a little : knit your line first here, and then go up thither, and see what you can do.
Viat. Did you see that, sir ?
Pisc. Yes, I saw the fish ; and he saw you, too, which made him turn short. You must fish farther off, if you intend to have any sport here : this is no new river, let me tell you. That was a good trout, believe me : did you touch him?
Viat. No, I would I had, we would not have parted so. Look you, there is another : this is an excellent fly.
Pisc. That fly I am sure would kill fish, if the day were right; but they only chew at it, I see, and will not take it. Come, sir, let us return back to the fishing-house : this still water, I see, will not do our business to-day: you shall now,