BETA

Illustrated title “A Fisher-boy” appears in front of seaside cliffs. A sailboat faces the rocks on the water. Large waves surround the boat and crash against the cliffs. There are dark clouds and seagulls in the sky. The illustration wraps down to the right and under the byline. To the right of the byline, there is a flock of flying seagulls. Below the byline, another sailboat sails on rough waters. The boat leans towards the left and appears to have been pushed by a wave. There are multiple figures in the boat. 1/2 page. The top half of the illustration is partially contained within a single-ruled rectangular border, and the bottom of the illustration fades into the page.

A
FISHER-
BOY

Jack, take the helm ; and, lads, be quick,
up with the sail,
1
’Ware the Bellman,* stand by Downie,* and
catch the blast of the gale.”
2
* Rocks near Stonehaven Harbour.
So spake the old sea-salted
skipper, with stern and
weather-beat face,
3
Locks few and grizzly, a man to be seen, a
true type of his race.
4
He had four of a crew, men every inch,
sturdy, stalwart, and strong ;
5
Each did his best to give help here and there,
as the boat bowled along ;
6
The waters hiss’d by the bow, and the waves
gave a thud on the side,
7
A boat sails through the water at night. There are multiple figures in the boat. 1/4 page. The illustration is partially contained within a single-ruled rectangular border; the top-right corner of the illustration fades into the page.
Two-part illustration. In the central part, a fishing boat sails on rough waters. Waves surround the boat, and the boat appears to lean on its side. There are four men aboard the boat. Two of the men reach into the water to hoist up a fishing net. A fish struggles at the water’s surface. There are clouds and rain in the sky. The illustration extends towards the top-left corner of the page, which features the same boat in a night-time scene. Three of the men sleep aboard the boat. Mist or fog settles among their bodies. In the bottom-right corner of the mist/fog, there is a small, faded, secondary scene. This scene shows a woman holding onto a child, who reaches out toward a third figure with both arms. The poem text suggests that this scene is part of the mens’ dreams. 1/4 page. The central part of the illustration is partially contained within a rectangular single-ruled border; the upper part of the illustration extends from the top-left corner and fades into the page.
While they stood out to sea, and were helped
by the wind and the tide.
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The wild rocky coast fell behind, the sun
sank in clouds in the west,
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And the sea-birds were lazily homing to their
places of rest ;
10
The curtains of night were closing, the stars
were seen in the blue,
11
When not blotted out by think bosses of
clouds, as they flew
12
Before the gale that was rising : the boat
forged quickly ahead,
13
And crash’d through the wild seething waters
as onward they sped
14
To the fishing-ground ; the night was now murky and
dark,
15
The heavens were black, no star to be seen, and of light
not a spark,
16
Save what came from a well-battered lamp that was nail’d
to the mast,
17
Glinting on white feathery spume that was flung from the
waves as they passed.
18
Lower the sail, slack the ropes, mind the helm, make
the mast a hare pole.”
19
To and fro rocked the boat and kept time with the long
steady roll ;
20
O’er the side the well-baited lines were payed out to the
deep ;
21
With one of the crew on the watch, the worn men went
off to sleep ;
22
They dreamt of their children and wives, and the gleam
of their own fireside,
23
For even in a fisherman’s home, love, peace, and joy may
abide.
24
A boat sails on a calm waters. The sky is light and there is land in the distance. 1/8 page.
Nor were they the first to sleep on
a raging and storm-toss’d sea,
25
For the Lord of All was aweary and
slept on Lake Galilee.
26
The hours slowly pass’d, then a halo
of light far away,
27
With shafts darting upwards, pro-
claim’d the fair dawning of day.
28
Quick, pull in the lines.” Strain-
ing with fish, these, in the morn’s
dim light,
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Shone with a gay phosphorescence,
making the broken waves bright.
30
Now, up with the sail, my hearties,
put the boat’s head to the shore ;
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See, the wind dies, take an oar, and
pull as you ne’er pulled before,
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If you wish to make money—we’ve
little enough, more’s the pity
33
Let us send off in haste these fish
to the great western city.”*
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So spake the old skipper, and he
looked with pride at his boy,
35
A well-favoured youth, with a face always
beaming with joy ;
36
Clad in thick homespun and clumsy sea-boots,
his movements were free,
37
And he looked every inch, as he was, a
strong son of the sea.
38
Though the wind now blew softly, they still
kept aloft the old sail,
39
And they tacked here and there to catch the
last sobs of the gale.
40
A man struggles in the water with his arm raised above his head. He is turned away from the viewer. In front of him, a small boat with two men aboard it leans on its side. There are high waves in the water. 1/4 page.
But trouble leap’d on them, for, in making
a landward tack,
41
The great flapping sail swung loose and
struck the lad on the back ;
42
He was overboard in a flash ; he sank ; the
boat ploughed along ;
43
A few brief seconds fled ere the men saw
that something was wrong.
44
Jim’s in the sea ; my God ! save my boy ! ”
a cry rent the air
45
A man walks away from the viewer. A docked boat lies in front of him. Further in the distance, there are multiple buildings perched along the edge of a seaside cliff. People gather around the buildings. 1/4 page. The top half of the illustration is contained within a single-ruled border; the bottom of the illustration fades into the page.
From the father’s pale lips,
while he threw overboard,
in despair,
46
Oars and all he could seize ; and he would
have leaped after the lad,
47
But he was held by strong hands, and a stern
voice said he was mad.
48
* Glasgow.
Quick they brought round the boat ; saw a
glimpse of an agonis’d face
49
Look to the heavens for help ; none came ;
a few bubbles the trace
50
Where a bright human life was quenched ;
without a grip of the hand
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He had vanished for ever and fled to the
unknown land.
52
Weary they worked their way homeward, too
sad to shed bitter tears,
53
One had gone from among them ; each
sober-faced man had his fears
54
That he, too, would find his grave in the
deep, like those of his race,
55
For few, in the old kirkyard on the cliff, had
e’er found a place.
56
Came then the old mother’s sobs, the cry of
the maiden forlorn,
57
For the lost boy ; one went to the time when
her youngest was born ;
58
The grief of the other was dumb ; she could
only think of his face,
59
When he gaily sprang from the boat, and
hied to the trysting-place.
60
Now the world was a blank, and the future
had lost all its light,
61
And she bowed her head in sorow, and felt
the darkness of night.
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The stern old man, with his creed in his soul,
crush’d his grief down,
63
And went, with few words, on his way
through the old fishing town.
64
Surely young lives are not lost, nor cast out
as waste to the sea ;
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May not death be only to them the beginning
to be ?
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