close close2 chevron-circle-left chevron-circle-right twitter bookmark4 facebook3 twitter3 pinterest3 feed4 envelope star quill

My Old Fishing Boat

by Isaac McLellan

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 master 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.