Nonfiction > E.C. Stedman & E.M. Hutchinson, eds. > A Library of American Literature > 1835–1860
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Stedman and Hutchinson, comps.  A Library of American Literature:
An Anthology in Eleven Volumes.  1891.
Vols. VI–VIII: Literature of the Republic, Part III., 1835–1860
 
The Fisher’s Boy
By Henry David Thoreau (1817–1862)
 
[Letters to Various Persons. 1865.]

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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