Poetry – THE BONNY RED HECKLE

Away frae the smoke an’ the smother,
Away frae the crush o’ the thrang!
Away frae the labour an’ pother
That have fettered our freedom sae lang!
For the May’s i’ full bloom i’ the hedges
And the laverock’s aloft i’ the blue,
An’ the south wind sings low i’ the sedges,
By haughs that are silvery wi’ dew.
Up, angler, off wi’ each shackle!
Up, gad and gaff, and awa’!
Cry ‘Hurrah for the canny red heckle,
The heckle that tackled them a’!’


Then back to the smoke and the smother,
The uproar and crush o’ the thrang;
An’ back to the labour and pother,
But happy and hearty and strang.
Wi’ a braw light o’ mountain and muirland,
Outflashing frae forehead and e’e,
Wi’ a blessing flung back to the norland,
An’ a thousand, dear Coquet, to thee!
As again we resume the old shackle,
Our gad an’ our gaff stowed awa’,
An’—goodbye to the canny ‘red heckle,’
The heckle that tackled them a’!’

— Thomas Westwood

Poetry – THE BROOK TROUT’S HOME

“I am Salmo fontinalis.
To the sparkling fountain born;
And my home is where oxalis.
Heather bell and rose adorn
The crystal basin in the dell
(Undine the wood-nymph knows it well):
That is where I love to dwell.
There was I baptized and christened,
‘Neath the somber aisles of oak;
Mute the cascade paused and listened.
Never a word the brooklet spoke;
Bobolink was witness then.
Likewise grosbeak, linnet, wren—
And all the fairies joined “amen!”
Thus as Salmo fontinalis
Recognized the wide world o’er.
In my limpid crystal palace.
Content withal, I ask no more.
Leaping through the rainbow spray.
Snatching flies the livelong day.
Naught to do but eat and play.”

— Charles Hallock.

Poetry – A HILL VAGABOND


Snakin’ wood down the mount’ins,
Fishin’ the little streams;
Smokin’ my pipe in the twilight,
An’ dreamin’ over old dreams;

Breathin’ the breath o’ the cool snows,
Sniffin’ the scent o’ the pine;
Watchin’ the hurryin’ river,
An’ hearin’ the coyotes whine.

This is life in the mount’ins,
Summer an’ winter an’ fall,
Up to the rainy springtime,
When the birds begin to call.

Then I fix my rod and tackle,
I read, I smoke an’ I sing.
Glad like the birds to be livin’—
Livin’ the life of a king!

—Louise Paley