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nibble crouched afford

swinging suspicious blessings


hesitate instant twinkling


1. Just down from the house is a sweet little brook,

Where I love in vacation to throw in my hook,
Not because I care much for the fishes, but yet
It gives such a thrill, when a nibble I get;
The exquisite thrill I feel yet.

2. Down there in the grass, just crouched out of sight,

I throw in my hook and wait for a bite,
And doubt if to wake and find inyself rich,
Would afford me such joy as to feel this line twitch,

Though a poor fish may make the line twitch. 3. Almost holding my breath there sometimes I cower,

And patiently wait, it would seem, for an hour;
Then I raise up the rod and examine the bait,
Then drop it again, and patiently wait;
For the best of us sometiines inust wait.

4. Then swinging so gently the end of the rod,

I move the bait slowly close under the sod,
Where I know the fish lies suspicious and firm,
Just to give him a nearer view of the worm ;
Some men bite at less than a worm.

5. Then I move it away to the left, or the right,

For blessings grow brighter, when taking their flight;
Then, perhaps, raise it ont of the water to look
And see if the bait hides the point of the hook;
Only men ever take the bare hook.

6. Then I drop it in farther, perhaps, up the stream,

And let it float down, for it often does seem
As if fishes were wiser than inen to descry
What's the true course of nature, and what is a lie,

Nor so readily swallow a lie. 7. There! it starts ! wait a minute! old fellow, you're

No! 'twas only a long spire of grass caught the line;
It don't do in fishing, though, haply, in law,
To give a too eager jump at a straw;

They fear one who jumps at a straw.
8. But don't give him up, you may yet win the day;

“ Faint heart never won fair lady,” they say,
And many sad lives can the folly confess
Of accepting a “no,” when it only meant“yes,"

When they mean it, why can't they say yes ? 9. Now, there is a bite, it is certain, at last,

Hold! steady a little, and don't be too fast !
Take care, or he sees the near danger and hides ;
It is only a nibble to look at both sides ;

An old fish always looks at both sides.
10. As if 'twere the worm, just move it a bit,

For what is so mean, not to know when it's hit ?
It must surely be more, or less, than a worm,
Which even a fish knows, when bitten, should squirm;

It takes a brave man not to squirm. 11. IIold ! bide well your time! blessings often delay;

Even Rome, it is said, was not built in a day;
Just give him his time, and he'll find to his cost,
That who hesitates, though an old fish, is lost;
Oh, that fishes alone were thus lost!

12. I have him! as sweet as hope's morning, that gleam,

That flashes so brightly up out of the stream;
Not an instant too soon, not an instant too late,
But just at the moment, the twinkling of fate:
The right moinent is all that makes fate.


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John. George, they say you are learning a trade. I should not have thought that you would have made up your mind to be anything but a farmer.

Geo. Why not? It seems to me that in making out one's plans for business, the main thing to be considered is whether it is honorable, useful and profitable.

John. Of course there is no question about the profit, usefulness or honor of almost any mechanical labor; but it somehow seems to me that agriculture is really the only independent business one can be engaged in. Everything, you know, depends upon the farmer.

Geo. I have heard that statement made so often, that I have no doubt the belief is quite common that agriculture underlies everything else, and mechanics is far less important; but I believe this to be a mistaken notion, and that agriculture is even more dependent upon mechanics.

John. That must be a queer notion of yours. A mechanic could not get a loaf of bread nor a pound of butter, without the farmer to produce it for him.

Geo. But, my good friend, did you ever think that the farmer could not produce a loaf of bread without bringing to his aid the skill and labor of thousands of mechanics, in furnishing the machinery necessary to make that loaf of bread ? One of the first things for the farmer to do to secure so simple an article of food, is to plow the ground. Plow-making is an important business. It involves the mining of the ore, the casting of the same, smelting, molding, the drilling of holes, and a large amount of machinery to make bolts, nuts, etc. Then again, are required, as many more operations, perhaps, to get the wood cut, sawed, planed, shaped and painted ready for use.

John. Perhaps you will trace out everything the farmer uses as being made by the mechanic.

Geo. Certainly, nearıy everything. There are the harnesses of your horses, which require various other branches of mechanical labor, such as tanning and currying the leather, harness-making, with all its attendant labors, including the building of shops and factories to carry on all these branches of work, and you see now you are only just ready to sow the seed. But suppose we pass along and allow your grain ready for harvesting, then what ? Next come your reapers and threshing-machines for harvesting. To make these it requires thousands of mechanics more, and then perhaps the very bags you put the grain in were made on the other side of the Atlantic

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