It’s cur’ous wot a show-down
the month of April makes,
Between the reely livin’, an’ the things ’at’s only fakes!
Machines an’ barns an’ buildin’s, they never give no sign;
But the livin’ things look lively w’en Spring is on the line.
She doesn’t come too suddin, ner
she doesn’t come too slow;
Her gaits is some cayprishus, an’ the next ye never know,—
A single-foot o’ sunshine, a buck o’ snow er hail,—
But don’t be disapp’inted, fer Spring ain’t goin’ ter fail.
She’s loopin’ down the hillside,—the
driffs is fadin’ out.
She’s runnin’ down the river,—d’ye see them risin’ trout?
She’s loafin’ down the canyon,—the squaw-bed’s growin’ blue,
An’ the teeny Johnny-jump-ups is jest a-peekin’ thru.
A thousan’ miles o’ pine-trees,
with Douglas firs between,
Is waitin’ fer her fingers to freshen up their green;
With little tips o’ brightness the firs ’ill sparkle thick,
An’ every yaller pine-tree, a giant candle-stick!
The underbrush is risin’ an’
spreadin’ all around,
Jest like a mist o’ greenness ’at hangs above the ground;
A million manzanitas ‘ill soon be full o’ pink;
So saddle up, my sonny,—it’s time to ride, I think!
We’ll ford er swim the river, becos
there ain’t no bridge;
We’ll foot the gulches careful, an’ lope along the ridge;
We’ll take the trail to Nowhere, an’ travel till we tire,
An’ camp beneath a pine-tree, an’ sleep beside the fire.
We’ll see the blue-quail chickens,
an’ hear ’em pipin’ clear;
An’ p’raps we’ll sight a brown-bear, er else a bunch o’ deer;
But nary a heathen goddess or god ’ill meet our eyes;
For why? There isn’t any! They’re jest a pack o’ lies!
Oh, wot’s the use o’ “red
gods,” an’ “Pan,” an’
all that stuff?
The natcheral facts o’ Springtime is wonderful enuff!
An’ if there’s Someone made ’em, I guess He understood,
To be alive in Springtime would make a man feel good.
For Archie Rutledge
Here’s a half-a-dozen flies,
Just about the proper size
For the trout of Dickey’s Run,—
Luck go with them every one!
Dainty little feathered beauties,
Listen now, and learn your duties:
Not to tangle in the box;
Not to catch on logs or rocks,
Boughs that wave or weeds that float,
Nor in the angler’s “pants” or coat!
Not to lure the glutton frog
From his banquet in the bog;
Nor the lazy chub to fool,
Splashing idly round the pool;
Nor the sullen horned pout
From the mud to hustle out!
None of this vulgarian crew,
Dainty flies, is game for you.
Darting swiftly through the air
Guided by the angler’s care,
Light upon the flowing stream
Like a winged fairy dream;
Float upon the water dancing,
Through the lights and shadows glancing,
Till the rippling current brings you,
And with quiet motion swings you,
Where a speckled beauty lies
Watching you with hungry eyes.