The two fun fish poems below are by an anonymous poet. Andrew Mullins is possibly the poet’s penname as far as can be surmised.
The poems accompany two of Robert Seymour’s (1800-1836) sketches, from Seymour’s Sketches, Part 4. Click on them to blow them up and see the detail better. Notably, Seymour did the illustrations, collaborating with Charles Dickens in The Posthumous Papers of the Pickwick Club.
“This is a werry lonely spot, Sir; I wonder you ar’n’t afeard of being robbed.”
Job Timmins was a tailor bold,
And well he knew his trade,
And though he was no fighting man
Had often dress’d a blade!
Quoth he, one day–“I have not had
A holiday for years,
So I’m resolv’d to go and fish,
And cut for once the shears.”
So donning quick his Sunday’s suit,
He took both rod and line,
And bait for fish–and prog for one,
And eke a flask of wine.
For he was one who loved to live,
And said–“Where’er I roam
I like to feed–and though abroad,
To make myself at home.”
Beneath a shady grove of trees
He sat him down to fish,
And having got a cover, he
Long’d much to get a dish.
He cast his line, and watch’d his float,
Slow gliding down the tide;
He saw it sink! he drew it up,
And lo! a fish he spied.
He took the struggling gudgeon off,
And cried–“I likes his looks,
I wish he’d live–but fishes die
Soon as they’re–off the hooks!”
At last a dozen more he drew–
(Fine-drawing ’twas to him!)
But day past by–and twilight came,
All objects soon grew dim.
“One more!” he cried, “and then I’ll pack,
And homeward trot to sup,”–
But as he spoke, he heard a tread,
Which caused him to look up.
Poor Timmins trembled as he gazed
Upon the stranger’s face;
For cut purse! robber! all too plain,
His eye could therein trace.
“Them’s werry handsome boots o’ yourn,”
The ruffian smiling cried,
“Jist draw your trotters out–my pal–
And we’ll swop tiles, besides.”
“That coat too, is a pretty fit–
Don’t tremble so–for I
Von’t rob you of a single fish,
I’ve other fish to fry.”
Poor Timmins was obliged to yield
Hat, coat, and boots–in short
He was completely stripp’d–and paid
Most dearly for his “sport.”
And as he homeward went, he sigh’d–
“Farewell to stream and brook;
O! yes, they’ll catch me there again
A fishing–with a hook!”
Along the banks, at early dawn,
Trudged Nobbs and Nobbs’s son,
With rod and line, resolved that day
Great fishes should be won.
At last they came unto a bridge,
Cried Nobbs, “Oh! this is fine!”
And feeling sure ‘twould answer well,
He dropp’d the stream a line.
“We cannot find a fitter place,
If twenty miles we march;
Its very look has fix’d my choice,
So knowing and–so arch!”
He baited and he cast his line,
When soon, to his delight,
He saw his float bob up and down,
And lo! he had a bite!
“A gudgeon, Tom, I think it is!”
Cried Nobbs, “Here, take the prize;
It weighs a pound–in its own scales,
I’m quite sure by its size.”
He cast again his baited hook,
And drew another up!
And cried, “We are in luck to-day,
How glorious we shall sup!”
All in the basket Tommy stow’d
The piscatory spoil;
Says Nobbs, “We’ve netted two at least,
Albeit we’ve no toil.”
Amazed at his own luck, he threw
The tempting bait again,
And presently a nibble had–
A bite! he pull’d amain!
His rod beneath the fish’s weight
Now bent just like a bow,
“What’s this?” cried Nobbs; his son replied,
“A salmon, ’tis, I know.”
And sure enough a monstrous perch,
Of six or seven pounds,
He from the water drew, whose bulk
Both dad and son confounds.
“O! Gemini!” he said, when he
“O! Pisces!” should have cried;
And tremblingly the wriggling fish
Haul’d to the bridge’s side.
When, lo! just as he stretched his hand
To grasp the perch’s fin,
The slender line was snapp’d in twain,
The perch went tumbling in!
“Gone! gone! by gosh!” scream’d Nobbs, while Tom
Too eager forward bent,
And, with a kick, their basket quick
Into the river sent.