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The Seagull

by Mary Howitt

Oh, the white seagull, the wild seagull,
A joyful bird is he,
As he lies like a cradled thing at rest
In the arms of a sunny sea!
The little waves rock to and fro,
And the white gull lies asleep,
As the fisher's bark, with breeze and tide,
Goes merrily over the deep.
The ship, with her fair sails set, goes by,
And her people stand to note
How the seagull sits on the rocking waves,
As if in an anchored boat.
The sea is fresh, the sea is fair,
And the sky calm overhead,
And the seagull lies on the deep, deep sea,
Like a king in his royal bed!

Oh, the white seagull, the bold seagull,
A joyful bird is he,
Throned like a king, in calm repose
On the breast of the heaving sea!
The waves leap up, the wild wind blows,
And the gulls together crowd,
And wheel about, and madly scream
To the deep sea roaring loud;—
And let the sea roar ever so loud,
And the winds pipe ever so high,
With a wilder joy the bold seagull
Sendeth forth a wilder cry.
For the seagull, he is a daring bird,
And he loves with the storm to sail;
To ride in the strength of the billowy sea;
And to breast the driving gale.
The little boat, she is tossed about,
Like a seaweed, to and fro;
The tall ship reels like a drunken man,
As the gusty tempests blow.
But the seagull laughs at the pride of man,
And sails in a wild delight
On the torn-up breast of the night-black sea,
Like a foam-cloud, calm and white.
The waves may rage and the winds may roar,
But he fears not wreck nor need;
For he rides the sea, in its stormy strength,
As a strong man rides his steed.

Oh, the white seagull, the bold seagull,
He makes on the shore his nest,
And he tries what the inland fields may be;
But he loveth the sea the best!
And away from land, a thousand leagues
He goes 'mid surging foam;
What matter to him is land or shore,
For the sea is his truest home.
And away to the north 'mong ice-rocks stern,
And among the frozen snow,
To a sea that is loan and desolate,
Will the wanton seagull go.
For he careth not for the winter wild,
Nor those desert-regions chill;
In the midst of the cold, as on calm, blue seas,
The seagull hath his will.
And the dead whale lies on the northern shores,
And the seal, and the seahorse grim,
And the death of the great sea-creatures makes
A full, merry feast for him.

Oh, the wild seagull, the bold seagull,
As he screams in his wheeling flight;
As he sits on the waves in storm or calm,
All cometh to him aright.
All cometh to him as he liketh best,
Nor any his will gainsay;
And he rides on the waves like a bold, young king,
That was crowned but yesterday!