Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, THE SHETLAND FISHERMAN, by DOROTHY PRIMROSE CAMPBELL

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Classic and Contemporary Poetry

THE SHETLAND FISHERMAN, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: O, fair arose the summer dawn
Last Line: And pamper'd luxury to weep.
Subject(s): Fish & Fishing; Sea; Anglers; Ocean

O, fair arose the summer dawn,
No sullen mist was seen to lour,
Night's dreary shadows were withdrawn,
And Morning brought her golden hour.

Soft was the air, and breathing balm,
The sea-fowl clamour'd on the shore,
The sky serene, the ocean calm,
And hushed the breakers' deafening roar.

And, slowly in the glittering east,
The sun now raised his orient head,
His beamy glories, round him cast,
On rock and steep their radiance shed.

A trembling stream of glory lay
Across the ocean's rippling bed,
And quick his bright beams sipp'd away
The dew-drops from each grassy blade.

The soaring lark soon mock'd the eye,
But still was heard his matin song,
The sea-gull floats with ominous cry,
The hungry raven flits along.

And heard was many a female voice,
That echoed o'er the rocky shore;
And lisping children gay rejoice,
And listen for the distant oar.

At length the six-oar'd boat appears,
Slow moving o'er the unruffled tide;
Their long, long stay, with artless tears,
Their little prattlers fondly chide.

"How could thee stay so long at sea?
High blew the wind, and Mammy wept,
Tom could not sleep, but thought on thee,
Tho' sweetly little Mary slept."

Anxious the wife her husband views,
Who weary drags his limbs along;
Hey Kate! he gayly cries, what news?
Then carols blithe his morning song,

"How couldst thou, William, stay so long
Upon the dark and stormy sea;
Where tempests sweep, and dangers throng,
So far from thy dear babes and me?

O! dark and dismal was the night,
And fearful was the tempest's roar;—
And many a sheeted ghost, or sprite,
Shriek'd wildly on the sea-beat shore.

I listen'd fearful to the wind,
And heard a groan in every blast!
A thousand fears disturb'd my mind,
E'en when the tempest's rage was past."

["]But we've successful been, dear Kate,
Behold, my lass, that plenteous load!—
To-day, I mean, to dine in state!
On haddock, turbot, ling, and cod."

The hardy swain, with raptur'd eyes,
Kisses his rose-lipp'd babes and Kate,
Then to his humble home he hies,
And blesses Heaven with heart elate.

Tho' coarse his fare, yet sweet to toil
The morsel seems, to hunger sweet!
The scanty produce of the soil,
By Kate prepared both clean and neat.

Then on his straw bed careless thrown,
He sinks into the arms of sleep;
Leaves it to paltry Wealth to groan,
And pamper'd Luxury to weep.

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