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The Doryman


The Doryman

Oh, some may sit in their swivel chairs,
'Midst the cities' rush and rumour,
And fret o'er the cares of the world affairs
And the woes of the poor consumer.
But I don't envy such gilded ease;
Just give me the salt-soaked ocean breeze,
The lift and surge of the white-capped seas,
And the deck of a halibut schooner.

I want no fuss with the pale-faced cuss,
The clerk or piano tuner,
Who spend their lives in those stifling hives
In the struggle for more mazuma.
But give me the windswept ocean's space
Where the "flat ones" flop in the dory's waist
And the salt scud whips in your upturned fare
As you pull for the side of the schooner.

Yes, give me a packet that's sound and tight
And a skipper with guts to boom her,
Up under the heel of the Northern Lights
Where the grey seas strive to doom her.
Through the grinding ice, where the ground lines freeze,
Through the howling gales and the pounding seas
For it's into such tranquil spots as these,
You must drive with a halibut schooner.

We earn what we get, you may lay to that
Though we sometimes "pull a boner"
For the weather that's brewed off Yakutut
It can change like a woman's humour.
When the "queer thing" flies to the schooner's truck,
We stash our gear and damn our luck,
For we've time for naught but to cut and duck
For safety, aboard the schooner.

And then, when our schooner is safe in port,
And we land in a boisterous humour,
We thank the gods that our stay is short
And wish we were leaving sooner.
We're rough and we're coarse and we're loud-What then?
We're the salt of the earth; we're dorymen
And tomorrow night we'll be off again
To the banks in a halibut schooner.

From Songs of the Pacific Northwest, Thomas