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A Poaching Song
Donagh MacDonagh

When God created water He must have thought of fish
And said, 'Let there be salmon to lie on Adam's dish!'
So he created Adam, for salmon must be caught
And flies too he created, and then of rods He thought;
So trees grew straight and slender, and Adam learned to fish
And thanked the Lord each evening for the brightness on his dish.

But who created bailiffs in a dark hour of the night?
Not God, Who loves good fellows and taught fish how to bite,
Not God Who has created the peaceful flowing stream,
The salmon ripe for taking when he leaps for joy in Spring.

A wise man, Fion MacCumhaill, caught a salmon for his tea
That lived on nuts of knowledge, dropped from a knowing tree;
He cooked it and he tasted and knew all men could wish
And wise men ever since then sit by a stream and fish,
But men unwise and evil, prompted by vicious greed,
Forbid good men their pleasure in doing this good deed.

Let others praise the herring, the tunny, trout or whale,
Give me the noble salmon with lightning in his tail;
To monarchs leave the sturgeon, the carp of golden hue--
I'll snare the silver salmon, and share the dish with you.

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