Sunday, October 07, 2012

As Near the Ocean's Edge

The Fisher's Boy
Henry David Thoreau

MY life is like a stroll upon the beach,
  As near the ocean’s edge as I can go;
My tardy steps its waves sometimes o’erreach,
  Sometimes I stay to let them overflow.
My sole employment is, and scrupulous care,        5
  To place my gains beyond the reach of tides,—
Each smoother pebble, and each shell more rare,
  Which Ocean kindly to my hand confides.
I have but few companions on the shore:
  They scorn the strand who sail upon the sea;        10
Yet oft I think the ocean they’ve sailed o’er
  Is deeper known upon the strand to me.
The middle sea contains no crimson dulse,
  Its deeper waves cast up no pearls to view;
Along the shore my hand is on its pulse,        15
  And I converse with many a shipwrecked crew.

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