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[60]

Roger Harlakenden threw him down,
Breathless at last, on the thin dry grass;
He could see his dory that glistened brown,
He could see the men and the women pass,
Tending the fish-flakes, from door to door;
And then he looked off to the ocean-floor.

Like a land-locked haven in sight of the sea
The life of the twelvemonth past was spread;
Peaceful contentment of heart and head
Since the Lord had found him, from sin set free.
Yet sometimes the thought of his wilder years
Rushed back upon him, teeming with ill,--
Wicked joys and delicious fears;
And then he climbed to the Pirates' Hill.

Was it worth the strength of a man like him
To dwell by the bay, with a calm sweet wife;
No stir in the blood, no peril of limb,
No wild, fierce joy of the coming strife?
Just to clean his boat and to haul the seines,
To cook the fish by the drift-wood fire,
To play with his boy through the autumn rains,
And on Sunday sing with his wife in the choir?

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Roger Harlakenden (1)
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