William Bell Scott

(1811-1890 / Scotland)

At Sea - Poem by William Bell Scott

Now the tide is safe and high,
In the fresh'ning morning breeze,
Over the harbour bar we hie
Out into the open seas.
With these fisher lads so strong
And knowing in the water ways,
I'll try to make a summer song,
The fisher's summer life to praise.
It seems to me the rounded sea
Begins to swell above the shore,
And the great gull, that fisher free,
Dives right down a yard or more.

With main and jib we bound along,
Through showers of spray we rise and dip,
But as for making any song,
That needs a sea apprenticeship.
And now we meet the ocean swell,
The bow swings high up in the air;
My breath goes with it! I know well
The land is best for me, not there!
We islanders should love the sea,
The fresh wind, coiled nets, ballast heap,
And full brown sail; but as for me,
Again within that harbour's lee,
I let the sea-song go to sleep!

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Poem Submitted: Thursday, April 22, 2010

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