Seagulls by Roderic Quinn

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All day long when the sunlight gladdens
   Rock and headland, and beach and shoal,
White as the fierce salt surf that whitens
   Crested breakers that shoreward roll.

Hither, thither, with brave breasts buoyant,
   Loiter the gulls from near and far,
Now aloft on their spreading pinions,
   Now wings folded on beach and bar.

Salt airs breathing and lungs expanded.
   Thus I watch then till day grows dim;
Nigh and distant, the great sea, psalming,
   Lifts triumphant a ceaseless hymn.

Back from the shore when the shadows lengthen,
   Far, far homing before the night.
Sunset tinting their wings with color.
   West, west ever, they take their flight.

Far, far westward the gulls go speeding.
   League and league through the dying day,
Till, low specks on the western skyline,
   Faint and fainter, they fade away.

Birds, brave birds, when your flight is ended
   (Darkness veiling the rose-red west),
Stars above you, and night surrounding.
   Where, O where do you take your rest?

Where I know not; but this I witness
   (Dawnlight flooding the landscape fair),
Eastward flying, your snow-white legions
   Course their way through the dewy air.

Back again to the white sea-surges,
   Back again ere the world awake --
Brave beasts buoyant and wings extended
   East, east ever your course ye take.

First published in The Bulletin, 16 October 1919

Author reference sites: Austlit, Australian Dictionary of Biography, Australian Poetry Library

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This page contains a single entry by Perry Middlemiss published on October 16, 2012 7:11 AM.

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