MY OLD FISHING BOAT a Poem
MY OLD FISHING BOAT
MY old boat rests on the shore,
By the river's sedgy brink,
Where the meadow grass bends o'er,
And the cattle come to drink;
'Tis a rusty, batter'd boat,
Boat without mast or sail,
And it never again may float,
In dead calm or in gale;
For its timbers and ribs are rent,
Shiver'd and crack'd and bent,
And the paint has faded away,
From its sides this many a-day;
Sides gaping in every seam,
Wide open to the stream.
And yet a brave boat wast thou!
When I launch'd you long ago,
When thy shapely, sharpen'd prow,
Cleaved the waters like a plow;
Gay then each painted side,
With umber and green and white,
My triumph and my pride,
My glory, my heart's delight!
Was ever a joy in the past,
Like mine when first arose,
The flag at the head of the mast,
A pennon of purple and rose;
When first thy snowy sail,
I gave to the riotous breeze,
And steer'd from this river-vale,
Straight out to the open seas!
Ah, many the splendid school
Of fish, in these river-deeps,
That haunt each darksome pool,
Or flash where the current sweeps;
Have I follow'd where e'er they float,
And gather'd into this boat;
And along the salty tides
Of the sea, I have track'd their way,
Till their glittering, scaly sides,
In my little shallop lay.
McLellan, Isaac. Poems of the Rod and Gun. New York: Henry Thorpe, 1886.
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