The Little Review (littlereview) wrote,
The Little Review

Poem for Tuesday

The Ballad of the Boat
By Richard Garnett

The stream was smooth as glass, we said: “Arise and let’s away;”
The Siren sang beside the boat that in the rushes lay;
And spread the sail, and strong the oar, we gaily took our way.
When shall the sandy bar be cross’d? When shall we find the bay?

The broadening flood swells slowly out o’er cattle-dotted plains,
The stream is strong and turbulent, and dark with heavy rains,
The laborer looks up to see our shallop speed away.
When shall the sandy bar be cross’d? When shall we find the bay?

Now are the clouds like fiery shrouds; the sun, superbly large,
Slow as an oak to woodman’s stroke sinks flaming at their marge.
The waves are bright with mirror’d light as jacinths on our way.
When shall the sandy bar be cross’d? When shall we find the bay?

The moon is high up in the sky, and now no more we see
The spreading river’s either bank, and surging distantly
There booms a sullen thunder as of breakers far away.
Now shall the sandy bar be cross’d, now shall we find the bay!

The seagull shrieks high overhead, and dimly to our sight
The moonlit crests of foaming waves gleam towering through the night.
We ’ll steal upon the mermaid soon, and start her from her lay,
When once the sandy bar is cross’d, and we are in the bay.

What rises white and awful as a shroud enfolded ghost?
What roar of rampant tumult bursts in clangor on the coast?
Pull back! pull back! The raging flood sweeps every oar away.
O stream, is this thy bar of sand? O boat, is this the bay?


Monday we went to the beach early, and found that while the air was warmer, the water was colder, or at least felt colder, though it was less rough than the day before. We found many mole crabs and little burrowing coquina clams, but older son did not last long in the water because it was so chilly, and eventually younger son too wanted to go to the heated swimming pool. So we left the shore and swam for awhile in the big pool-gym complex, then came back for lunch.

In the afternoon we went to Ocean City to play miniature golf at one of several themed Old Pro Golf places in the area -- this one has dinosaurs outside and, in the only indoor mini-golf in this region, an undersea-themed course with a recreated submarine, pirate ship, cave with waterfall, etc. They also have a medieval castle miniature golf place that we want to play, and I'd say the odds are good since apaulled won a free game on any course by hitting a hole in one at the final hole. I got two holes in one earlier and golfed under par, but nothing so spectacular. *g* The course had an arcade, so the kids won thrilling things there too like stuffed fish.

We had dinner at Big Fish Grill in Rehoboth, which is not terribly glamorous but has excellent seafood -- I had pecan-crusted halibut, father had grilled yellowfin tuna, one son had crab cakes and the other had flounder. Then, since we were already in Rehoboth, we went for a walk on the boardwalk there. Younger son won a stuffed penguin at an arcade and was the happiest boy on the beach. We got the kids ice cream and wandered into a couple of the beach stores, where I restrained myself from buying tie-dyes.

Laughing gulls are everywhere in the populated parts of Bethany and Rehoboth. Humans are not allowed on the dunes, so the gulls sit there just over the fence from the boardwalk and wait hopefully for children to drop french fries over.

Near sunset, crowds of people and gulls gather where the main road intersects the boardwalk in front of Dolle's Salt Water Taffy.

The very necessary Whac-a-Mole arcade game.

One of the ever-popular iron-on t-shirt shops by the beach.

Because what is a seashore holiday without playing miniature golf?

Sharks approach the sunken pirate ship with its skeletal captain.

The outside course has colorful dinosaurs, a steaming volcano and bright blue fountains!

My mother is pissed off me this evening because I refused to let her braid my nose, actually I just refused to let her sit on my bed and watch me crop photos after I spent practically every moment of the day in her presence and wanted five minutes of privacy in my own room here. I am far more pissed off at her, however, over the usual family idiocy, in this case: my father put up water to boil for instant coffee at 8 a.m. this morning, then went to the bathroom. Because he did not ask my mother, who was also up at that hour, whether she wanted coffee or tea, my mother did not turn off the burner when it boiled, thus leaving the kettle to whistle and wake the entire household before my father could get back to the kitchen to turn it off. I can deal with my father being an outright jerk on the occasions when he is an outright jerk because at least it's forthright stupidity, but I cannot deal with my mother's pretense at being The Nicest Person In The World when she is also The Most Incredible Passive-Aggressive Bitch I Know.

Tuesday we may be going to Chicoteague, Assateague or Cape May, or the other members of the party who prefer to sit in a swimming pool and play tennis as if they couldn't do this at home may pressure the kids to try to find a place to go fishing. One way or another I AM getting to the national parks this trip. But as always when traveling I am behind on comments and mail, sorry!

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