It is a brave, a royal sport,
Trolling for bluefish o'er the seas;
Fair skies and soaring gulls above,
A steady blowing breeze;
A shapely yacht whose foaming prow
The billowy plain divides,
That like a gallant courser speeds
Far, free o'er ocean tides.
First from West India seas they came,
Haunting the Cuban coast,
Cruel as Spanish buccaneers,
A fierce, rapacious host.
But now by Northern seaboard shores
Their murderous way they take,
From Mexic Gulf to Labrador,
Wherever billows break.
The weaker tenants of the main
Flee from their rage in vain,
The vast menhaden multitudes
They massacre o'er the flood;
With lashing tail, with snapping teeth
They stain the tides with blood.
Rakish are they, like pirate craft,
All matchless to assail,
With graceful, shapely, rounded sides
And the sharp, forked tail;
And when the angler's hook is fixed
They fight, they struggling bleed,
Now leaping high, now plunging deep,
Darting with lightning speed.
And yet these sea marauders,
These tyrants of the main,
By fiercer, mightier ruffians
Are hunted, conquered, slain;
The tumbling porpoise hunts them,
Dorado fierce pursues,
And when the shark assaileth,
Blood-stains the waves suffuse.