Poetry - Aubrey Pearce



The Hand-Line Fisherman
In the little coves and inlets All along our rugged shore There beside the mighty ocean With its mighty thunderous roar Dwell a race of hardy seamen Facing danger every day Fishing for the wily codfish On the grounds and in the bay. In their little boats and dories They will venture far from land Often times without an engine Just the brawny arms of man They must row their boats to safety Fighting heavy wind and sea Often hours without a let up Toiling hard and meanfully. Those with motorboats may linger Longer on the fishing ground Depending solely on their engines Fishing all the season round Some with trawls & more with hand-lines Catching cod the whole day through Thinking nothing of the hardships They endure while on the blue. From the dawn ‘till dark of evening One can see those little boats When you're looking on the ocean Just like tiny toys afloat Maybe you may think and wonder If a stranger to the shore At the courage of those seamen And the hardships they endure. They must face all winds and weather Chilly fog and bitter cold All day long they rise the hand-lines Or the trawls those seamen bold Depending solely on the codfish They must fish the season round For the life blood of their families Be there on the fishing ground. Tried and tested on the ocean Every boy becomes a man He must do his share of labour On the sea and on the land For the fisher is part farmer When on land he toils all day Growing crops to feed his family And to help his debts to pay. I remember in my boyhood Of an uncle old of mine He would venture on the ocean For to fish with hook and line In a little fifteen footer Rigged with mainsail jib and boom Tossed about just like a toy boat Out there in the ocean's gloom. I can still recall to memory Many times we gazed to see Wondering where could be this brave man With his boat of mystery When a speck near the horizon Would unfold before our eyes Battling bravely with the rough seas And the wind from stormy skies. Just a lone man on the ocean In a boat so weak and small Braving seas and stormy weather Catching cod with line and trawl There is no need to tell you further Of the bravery of this man And his equals there are plenty In the Isle of Newfoundland. What a thrill it was to watch him With the tiller in his hand Keeping full the jib and mainsail When be backed from off the land No matter what the kind of weather When the other boats could go Nothing daunted he would follow Though the stormy wind did blow. Many are the tales and stories Told of bravery on the sea And the sufferings of our seamen Are wrote down in history None can doubt their pluck & courage They have stood the greatest test On the bloody fields of battle They were "Better Than The Best."


Aubrey Pearce (1894-1977) Maberly Resident


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