Plenty of rush and motion, heave and roar,
To turn their thoughts from things upon the shore;
The day's too calm--I told you that before.
Just mind your line! I tell you that he's there.
I saw him spring up ten feet in the air--
Twelve pounder, if an ounce! Great Mackinaw!
Look! Quick! He's on! The "doctor" in his jaw. . . .

Snapped! Gone! You big fool: worse than any fool!
What did you think to find here in this pool--
A minnow or a shiner--that you tried
With such a jerk to land him on the side
Of this high bank? That was a salmon--fool!
The biggest one that swam within this pool;
The one I saw that jumped twelve feet--not lower;
Would tip the scales at fourteen pounds or more.
Lost--near that rock that's got the log upon it,
Gone--with the leader and the "doctor" on it.


The History of John Jones

THE sun never shone,
The rain could not fall
On a steadier man than John.
A holy man was John,
And honest withal.
His mates had never heard
Drop from his guarded lip
An idle word,
But twice--first, while on board his ship,
When he had lost his pipe, he swore,
Just a mild damn, and nothing more;
And once he cursed
The government; but then he reckoned
The Lord forgave him for the first,
And justified the second.

-192-

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Collected Poems
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Introduction xi
  • Dunkirk 1
  • Come Away, Death 16
  • From Stone to Steel 20
  • Still Life 21
  • Father Time 23
  • The Baritone 26
  • The Old Organon (1225 A.D.) 29
  • The New (1937 A.D.) 31
  • Before an Altar - (after Gueudecourt) 36
  • The Titanic 97
  • The Brawler in "Who's Who" 129
  • The "Roosevelt" and the "Antinoe" 136
  • Newfoundland Reminiscences 165
  • Old Harry 169
  • The Shark 187
  • The Fog 188
  • Overheard by a Stream 191
  • To Angelina, an Old Nurse 192
  • Toll of the Bells 196
  • Time-Worn 202
  • The Lee-Shore 203
  • Erosion 205
  • The Sea-Cathedral 213
  • A Miscellany 223
  • A Prairie Sunset 225
  • Out of Step - (1931 A.D.) 226
  • The Parable of Puffsky 227
  • A Feline Silhouette 232
  • Comrades 234
  • The Epigrapher 235
  • Extravaganzas 239
  • The Witches' Brew (in Celebration of a Fifth Wedding Anniversary) 241
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