Saturday, August 10, 2013

When the Gulls Come In / Helen M. Merrill

When the Gulls Come In

When the gulls come in, and the shallow sings
Fresh to the wind, and the bell-buoy rings,
And a spirit calls the soul from sleep
To follow over the flashing deep;

When the gulls come in from the fields of space,
Vagrants out of a pathless place,
Waifs of the wind that dip and veer
In the gleaming sun where the land lies near,–

Long have they wandered far and free,
Bedouin birds of the desert sea;
God only marked their devious flight,
God only followed them day and night,–

Sailor o' mine, when the gulls come in
And the shallow sings to the bell-buoy's din,
Look to thy ship and the gods hard by,
There's a gale in the heart of the golden sky.

Helen M. Merrill
from Sandpipers, and other poems, 1915

[Poem is in the public domain in Canada and the United States]

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