For worms the fisher first would dig,
Then seek the holes and try his luck.
He hoped to get a trophy big
As a reward for all his pluck.
Sometimes he did. A gizzard fish
Was something, to be talked about.
But often no man got his wish.
All offered bait the fish would flout.
Sometimes in swarms the suckers come
Eager the offered bait to take,
And men would draw these fishes tame
Up through the ice without a break.
It was exciting to be sure.
No man knew what would come out next.
This ever was the great allure,
Often his catch a man would vex.
A sucker draped out through the ice
Was after all a decent fish.
When cooked it could be very nice.
It was a change for those who wish.
Two boys might stand from morn till night
Upon the ice and nothing take.
They might not even get a bite.
No man a fish to bite can make.
They might have walked some miles to fish,
And must return with empty hand,
It easy is for man to wish,
But not a golden wish to land.
To springs the Perdu owes its birth,
And to Spring freshets through the years.
It has its own peculiar worth.
Its quietness the toiler cheers
From the St. John, perhaps two miles
Of bank, slow curving, steep and high
Looks o'er an intervale and smiles
No one would think the Perdu nigh.
The Perdu seeks the Keswick stream,
Its waters always deep and calm
A haunt of waterfowl, I deem,
And to musquash e pleasing balm.
The clay brook enters the Perdu
Just as the Keswick Flats appear.
And at the mouth fish not a few
Would gather as the Spring drew near.
Suckers and perch and gizzard fish,
Beneath the ice were there to catch.
To fish men holes would cut, and wish
A gizzard fish their kook would snatch.
The snow upon the bank deep lay.
There was no frost beneath that snow.
And there were worms hid in the clay.
This every men and boy did know.