The Bluefish

Isaac McLellan

(Pomatomus Saltatrix.)
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.

Poems by This Author

The Shark by Isaac McLellan
The seaboy sailing o'er the main

Further Reading

Poems about Sharks
Angel Shark
by Hailey Leithauser
Ants and Sharks
by Tomasz Rózycki
by Ernest Hilbert
At Shark Reef Sanctuary
by Eva Alice Counsell
Beach Walk
by Henri Cole
Coffee and Oranges
by Joel Brouwer
Flying Fish: An Ode [excerpt]
by Charles Wharton Stork
Haunted Seas
by Cale Young Rice
I Wonder What It Feels Like to be Drowned?
by Robert Graves
In a Breath
by Carl Sandburg
Inheritance of Waterfalls and Sharks
by Martín Espada
Murray Dreaming
by Stephen Edgar
No Place Like Home
by Stephen Cushman
Ode on Dictionaries
by Barbara Hamby
Plague of Dead Sharks
by Alan Dugan
by Brigit Pegeen Kelly
Seal Lullaby
by Rudyard Kipling
Sharks in the Rivers
by Ada Limón
Sharks' Teeth
by Kay Ryan
Shoal of Sharks
by Richard O'Connell
Song of the Paddlers [excerpt]
by Herman Melville
Submarine Mountains
by Cale Young Rice
Summer [excerpt]
by James Thomson
The Maldive Shark
by Herman Melville
The Ripple Effect
by Jamey Dunham
The Sea is History
by Derek Walcott
The Shark
by Isaac McLellan
The Shark
by Judith Beveridge
The Shark
by William Henry Venable
The Shark
by Lord Alfred Douglas
The Shark's Parlor
by James Dickey
The Sharks
by Denise Levertov
The Sirens
by James Russell Lowell
The Steel Rippers
by Patricia Carlin
Tiger Shark
by Hailey Leithauser
Untitled [There, by the crescent moon, the shark]
by Shido
Upon Shark
by Robert Herrick
What To Do About Sharks
by Vivian Shipley
White Sales
by Allen Grossman
World Below the Brine
by Walt Whitman