“At the wintry fire.”


Thomas Tod Stoddart

For those dreaming of winter’s end, I post a poem by Thomas Tod Stoddart (1810-1880). I wrote previously about the lawyer from Kelso, Scotland, who was more angler than attorney. In this poem, “Musings,” Stoddart capture the longing that many of us, fly fishers or otherwise, feel for the warmer days of spring. The poem is taken from Angling Songs, published by Stoddart’s daughter Anna in 1989.



Welcome, sweet southern showers!

Welcome, ye early flowers,

Woo’d by the bee!

Ever gentle and bland

To all wights of the wand

Welcome are ye!


Oft at the wintry fire,

Nursing out hearts’ desire

Fondly we dream

Of joy in the breeze—

Singing birds in the trees—

Flowers by the stream.


Often our fancy brings

Pictures of sunny things

Home to our hearth,

And we seem as we stray’d

Among sunshine and shade,

Music and mirth.


Then with unconscious hand

Grasp we the idle wand,

Full of the boy,

When to our sad surprise

Swiftly the vison flies,

Summer and joy!

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