The Iron Gate and Other Poems

The Iron Gate and Other Poems

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The Iron Gate and Other Poems by Oliver Wendell Holmes

Published:

1893

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The Iron Gate and Other Poems

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Book Excerpt

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Crabs? mussels? weeds?--Look quick! there 's one just diving! Flop! Splash! his white breast glistens--down he goes!

And while he 's under--just about a minute--
I take advantage of the fact to say
His fishy carcase has no virtue in it
The gunning idiot's worthless hire to pay.

Shrewd is our bird; not easy to outwit him!
Sharp is the outlook of those pin-head eyes;
Still, he is mortal and a shot may hit him,
One cannot always miss him if he tries.

He knows you! "sportsmen" from suburban alleys,
Stretched under seaweed in the treacherous punt;
Knows every lazy, shiftless lout that sallies
Forth to waste powder--as he says, to "hunt."

I watch you with a patient satisfaction,
Well pleased to discount your predestined luck;
The float that figures in your sly transaction
Will carry back a goose, but not a duck.

Look! there's a young one, dreaming not of danger;
Sees a flat log come floating down the stream;
Stares undismayed upo

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