Mary Botham Howitt

(1799-1888 / England)

The Sea Fowler


THE BARON hath the landward park, the fisher hath the sea;
But the rocky haunts of the sea-fowl belong alone to me.

The baron hunts the running deer, the fisher nets the brine;
But every bird that builds a nest on ocean-cliffs is mine.

Come on then, Jock and Alick, let’s to the sea-rocks bold:
I was train’d to take the sea-fowl ere I was five years old.

The wild sea roars, and lashes the granite crags below,
And round the misty islets the loud, strong tempests blow.

And let them blow! Roar wind and wave, they shall not me dismay;
I ’ve faced the eagle in her nest and snatch’d her young away.

The eagle shall not build her nest, proud bird although she be,
Nor yet the strong-wing’d cormorant, without the leave of me.

The eider-duck has laid her eggs, the tern doth hatch her young,
And the merry gull screams o’er her brood; but all to me belong.

Away, then, in the daylight, and back again ere eve;
The eagle could not rear her young, unless I gave her leave.

The baron hath the landward park, the fisher hath the sea;
But the rocky haunts of the sea-fowl belong alone to me.

Submitted: Tuesday, September 28, 2010

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