The Fisherman


(From the French of Anatole France)

Slow are my feet from cottage to the sea,
And weariness is ever mine. The bread
Is hard to earn now, but we must be fed;
The fish are scarce and fishermen are free.
No longer lie the net and line for me
Where oft of old a fine catch glistened,
Telling of profit as my swift barque sped;
The gods assist no more my industry.
This very day when emptying my crates
The wives of Corinth with their fattened cooks
Left only thirty obols at my gates,
Paying my stall with words and avid looks.
Oh, misery on men! The gods now spurn
Our stricken people and will ne’er return.

Sixty-Third Sonnet

7. 3. 29