New Hampshire Poem: 1807 Fisherman’s Song

Mankind are all FISH: and I’ll lay you a bet,
I prove that they all will come into the NET;


The lawyer’s a SHARK; and they who in shoals
Run into his jaws, must be FLATS, or poor SOLES;
The LOBSTER’s a turncoat; the sluggard’s a SNAIL:
The curate’s a SHRIMP, and the vicar a WHALE:
The soldier’s a SWORD FISH: the critic a CARP,
That delights in the mud, and though wary, bites sharp;
The heir is a GOLD FISH, but turns to a GULL:
True lovers are OYSTERS, both silent and dull.
The poets are SPAWN, but are scarce worth a drag;
Young misses are MACK’REL, all caught by red rag;
Their swains, although FLY FISH, full frequently feel,
That a fair and fresh MACK’REL will turn to an EEL.
A rake’s a DORUDA [sic], persisting and rude;
a Beauty’s a FLYING FISH, always pursued.
Thus by HOOK or by CROOK they are all to be CAUGHT,
Nay, some wise ones have said they are all to be BOUGHT,
Some at high, some at low, some at fair market price,
From a farthing per pound to a guinea a SLICE!
For MAIDS that are good there’s no price to be set,
But for those that won’t keep, or will jump to the net,
They are not worth the scales on the back of a DACE,
Though thousands are offer’d to catch a good PLACE.
— Sporting Magazine

Source: Newspaper: Portsmouth Oracle; Date: 06-27-1807; Volume: XVIII; Issue: 39; Page: 4; Location: Portsmouth, New Hampshire

ALSO SEE:
-Shark Attack in New Hampshire?-

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