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The Witchery of Archery; A Complete Manual of Archery. with Many Chapters of Adventures by Field and Flood, and an Appendix Containing Practical Direc(Paperback)

This historic book may have numerous typos and missing text. Purchasers can usually download a free scanned copy of the original book (without typos) from the publisher. Not indexed. Not illustrated. 1878 edition. Excerpt: ... CHAPTER X. THE DEATH OF THE WHITE HERON. I Pulled my boat with even sweep, Across light shoals and eddies deep, Tracking the currents of the lake From lettuce raft to weedy brake. Across a pool, death-still and dim, I saw a monster reptile swim, And caught, far off and quickly gone, The delicate outlines of a fawn. Above the marshy islands flew The green teal and the swift curlew. The rail and dunlin drew the hem Of lily-bonnets over them. I saw the tufted wood-duck pass Between the clumps of water-grass. All round the gunwales and across I draped my boat with Spanish moss, And, lightly drawn from head to knee, I hung gay air-plants over me; Then, lurking like a savage thing That meditates a treacherous spring, I stood in motionless suspense Among the rushes green and dense. I kept my bow half-drawn, a shaft Set straight across the velvet haft. Alert and vigilant I stood, Scanning the lake, the sky, the wood. I heard a murmur soft and sad From water-weed to lily-pad, And from the frondous pines did ring The hammer of the golden-wing. On old drift-logs the bitterns stood Dreaming above the silent flood. The water-turkey eyed my boat, The hideous snake-bird coiled its throat, And birds whose plumage shone like flame-- Wild things grown suddenly, strangely tame, Lit near me; but I heeded not, They could not tempt me to a shot. Grown tired at length, I bent the oars By grassy brinks and shady shores, Through labyrinths and mysteries Mid dusky cypress stems and knees, Until I reached a spot I knew Over which each day the herons flew. I heard a whisper sweet and keen Flow through the fringe of rushes green (The water saying some light thing, The rushes gayly answering). The wind drew faintly to the south, Like breath blown from a sleeper's...

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