Gulls

A poem by Virna Sheard

When the mist drives past and the wind blows high,
And the harbour lights are dim -
See where they circle, and dip and fly,
The grey free-lances of wind and sky,
To the water's distant rim!

Like spirits possessed of a fierce delight,
A courage that cannot fail,
They face the breakers - they face the night -
The mad storm-horses are silvery white,
They ride through the bitter gale!

They seem like the souls of the long, long lost,
Who breasted the ocean-main -
Vikings whose vessels were tempest-tossed,
Voyagers who sailed, whatever the cost,
And never came home again.

Or stranger and wilder fancy - it seems
As I hear their wind-torn cry,
No birds fly there through the sun's last gleams,
But the wraiths of hopes - the ghosts of dreams
That the old sea-gods saw die.

When the mist drives past and the wind blows high,
And the harbour lights are dim -
See where they circle, and dip and fly,
The grey free-lances of wind and sky,
To the far horizon's rim.

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