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W. Garrett Horder, comp. The Poets’ Bible: New Testament. 1895.

I go a Fishing

Walter Chalmers Smith (1824–1908)


THEY stood together by the sea

Where He appointed them to be;

The waves were breaking on the sand,

The winds were moaning o’er the land,

And life came back, like floating wrack,

On those dim shores of Galilee.

On every hill, ’neath every tree

Was some fond haunt of memory,

Where they had known the mystic force

Of healing might or high discourse;

And at His will those waves were still

Upon the Sea of Galilee.

But Peter nought can hear or see

Save that dark cross on Calvary,

The crowing cock, the certain maid;

“I go a fishing,” then he said;

He could not bear the thoughts that were

Thick crowding now in Galilee.

Ah! well from vexing thought to flee,

Till better thoughts return to thee;

Ah! well to have some task to do,

When grief is fresh, and trouble new,

And life comes back, like cruel wrack,

On some sad shore of Galilee.

Though vain the flight from thought may be,

As vain the thought from which we flee;

And Christ is near to him that weeps,

And to his task of duty keeps,

Playing his part with heavy heart

A long dark night on Gallilee.