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The Old Hanging Fork
George W. Doneghy


O don't you remember those days so divine,
Around which the heart-strings all tenderly twine,
When with sapling pole and a painted cork
We fished up and down the old Hanging Fork—
From the railroad bridge, with its single span,
Clear down to the mill at Dawson's old dam—
From early morn till the shades of night,
And it made no difference if fish didn't bite?

What pleasure it gives to think and to dream
Of those long, happy days, and the old winding stream,
When we waded the creek with our pants to the knee,
And got our lines tangled in a sycamore tree,
And were most scared to death when out from the root
The long, wriggling snake through the water did shoot,
And you lost your line, your hook and your cork,
And I slipped and fell in the old Hanging Fork!

The years they have come, and the years they have fled,
And frosted with silver the hairs of the head,
But still in fond memory there lingers the joy
Of scenes such as these, when a bare-footed boy
I wandered away to the clear rippling stream—
No cankering care to trouble life's dream;—
And we spit on our bait and in whispers we'd talk,
As we threw out our lines in the old Hanging Fork!

We sat there and fished with the sun beaming down
On the tops of our heads through hats minus crown,
And when I got a bite or you caught a perch
We'd just give our lines a thundering lurch,
And land him high up on the bank in the weeds,
Then string him along with the pumpkin seeds!
O don't you remember the hot, dusky walk,
Along the white pike to the old Hanging Fork?

This poem is in the public domain.

George W. Doneghy (1848 - 1917) was born in, and lived his entire life, in Danville, Kentucky. He was a printer for many years, then switched  careers and became a newspaper editor. George's work was widely published in newspapers and magazines during his lifetime and he wrote at least one book, The Old Hanging Fork and Other Verses (1897). 


Post New Comment:
I accept the sight rhyme.
Posted 06/29/2022 09:04 AM
Darrell Arnold:
I've recently taken up writing the stories of my youth for my middle-aged children. Now and then, one becomes a poem. I, too, had the blessd rural surroundings and experiences -- fishing, hiking, hunting, horses, exploring. I pray my children appreciate my efforts as much as I appreciate those of Mr. Doneghy's.
Posted 06/29/2022 08:38 AM
A wonderful "memory lane" poem!
Posted 06/29/2022 08:12 AM

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