To a Seabird

13 01 2013

Seagull In Water

Sauntering hither on listless wings,
    Careless vagabond of the sea,
    Little thou heedest the surf that sings,
    The bar that thunders, the shale that rings,
    Give me to keep thy company.

    Little thou hast, old friend, that’s new;
    Storms and wrecks are old things to thee;
    Sick am I of these changes, too;
    Little to care for, little to rue,
    I on the shore, and thou on the sea.

    All of thy wanderings, far and near,
    Bring thee at last to shore and me;
    All of my journeyings end them here:
    This our tether must be our cheer,
    I on the shore, and thou on the sea.

    Lazily rocking on ocean’s breast,
    Something in common, old friend, have we:
    Thou on the shingle seek’st thy nest,
    I to the waters look for rest,
    I on the shore, and thou on the sea.

Bret Harte

Even though Harte wrote his poem in 1869, this reminds me of something written by Canadian American Master Joni Mitchell almost exactly 100 years later.  Her work is not yet in the public domain, so have a look at — and a listen to — “Song to a Seagull” on the album of the same name.

The photograph is courtesy of Junior Libby.

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