The Book of the Native

by Charles G.D. Roberts


The Trout Brook


The airs that blew from the brink of day
Were fresh and wet with the breath of May.
I heard the babble of brown brooks falling,
And golden-wings in the woodside calling.

Big drops hung from the sparkling eaves;

And through the screen of the thin young leaves
A glint of ripples, a whirl of foam,
Lured and beckoned me out from home.

My feet grew eager, my eyes grew wide,
And I was off by the brown brook’s side.

Down in the swamp-bottom, cool and dim,
I cut me an alder sapling slim.

With nimble fingers I tied my line,
Clear as a sunbeam, strong and fine.
My fly was a tiny glittering thing,

With tinselled body and partridge wing.

With noiseless steps I threaded the wood,
Glad of the sun-pierced solitude.
Chattered the kingfisher, fierce and shy,
As like a shadow I drifted by.

Lurked in their watery lairs the trout,
But, silver and scarlet, I lured them out.
Wary were they, but warier still
My cunning wrist and my cast of skill.

I whipped the red pools under the beeches;

I whipped the yellow and dancing reaches.
The purple eddy, smooth like oil,
And the tail of the rapid yielded spoil.

So all day long, till the day was done,
I followed the stream, I followed the sun.

Then homeward over the ridge I went,
The wandering heart of me well content.