Norman Rowland Gale (1862-1942 / England)
Most Anglers are Very Humane
The kind-hearted angler was sadly pursuing
His calling unhallowed of choking the fishes;
He bitterly wept, for of course he was doing
An action most strongly opposed to his wishes!
His vertabra shook as he musingly planned
How kindly to threadle the worm he'd begun--it
Was plain had the reptile possessed a right hand
The penitent angler would gladly have wrung it!
He cast in his float filled with tearful emotion
And murmured "How fearful, how terrible this is!"
And just at that moment, amid some commotion,
He jerked out a panting and rather small piscis!
"Unfortunate fishlet, what dread impulse brought you
To meddle with bait which I carelessly threw in?
My dear little swimmer, I'm sorry I caught you,
So please don't blame me for contriving your ruin!"
"O barbel and salmon-trout, tench, dace and gugdeon,
O ev'ry fat jack and each eel (not a conger)
Why, why will you grieve me and stir up my dudgeon?
Go, die on his hooks who has eyes that are stronger!"
But, however, whilst moaning he pulled out a score,
And continued his wonderful luck till at last--it
Was plain that his soft heart could bear it no more,
Too deep were his groans, and--too full was his basket!
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