Fisher of Stars

Lew Sarett

My wild blood leaped as I watched the falling stars
Flash through the night and gleam,
Like spawning trout that hurtle the riffled bars
Of a dusky mountain stream.

Like quivering rainbow-trout that run in spring,
Arching the water-slides--
Out of the limpid sky, in a wild wet fling,
They shook their crimson sides.

My sportsman's heart flamed up, as the fishes dashed
In school on shimmering school,
Through high cascades and waterfalls, and splashed
In the deep of a cloudy pool.

I fished that pond; I chose my longest line,
And cast with my supplest rod--
The one was a thing of dreams, oh, gossamer-fine;
The other a gift from God.

I flicked the Milky Way from edge to edge
With an iridescent fly;
I whipped the polar rapids, and every ledge
And cut-bank in the sky.

To the Pleiades I cast with my willowy pole;
And I let my line run out
To the farthest foamy cove and skyey hole--
And I raised a dozen trout.

And every time one struck my slender hook,
He shattered the trembling sea,
With a sweep of his shivering silver fin, and he shook
A silver rain on me;

My line spun out, my fly-rod bent in twain,
As over the sky he fought;
My fingers bled, my elbows throbbed with pain--
But my fishing went for naught.

I landed never a one; my line and hackle
Were none too subtle and fine;
For angling stars one wants more delicate tackle--
A more cunning hand than mine.



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