“The Short Cloak”—A humorous poem about stealing fish.

by Ann Neilson

The Short Cloak.
From the New-York Mirror, November 6, 1824, Vol. 2, pg. 120,

A fellow stole a fish—and, as he thought,
Had hidden it, within a scanty coat;
Whether there was a cod or carp in’t,
Nobody cared—this much is true,
The tail was seen, more plain to view
Than that of Jonathan’s sea-serpent.
A wag, who saw it, whisper’d drily:
“You thought you did this very slily—
Take my advice, (there is no harm meant,)
Adapt your purpose to your garment.
In future, my dear sir, you ought,
When thus you cater for your dish,
To wear a longer coat,
Or steal a shorter fish.”