Requiem for a Seagull
Requiem for a Seagull - Oil painting by Michael Strang

I found her out there
on a slope few see,
that falls westwardly
to the salt edged air,
where the ocean breaks
on the purple strand
and the hurricane shakes
the solid land.

I brought her here,
and have laid her to rest
in a noiseless nest,
no sea beats near.
She will never be stirred
from her loamy cell
by the waves long heard
and loved so well.

So she does not sleep
by those haunted heights
the Atlantic smites
and the blind gale sweep,
At Dundagel's
famed head,
while the dipping blaze
dyed her face fire red.

And would sigh at the tale
of sunk Lyonesse,
as a wind-tugged tress
flapped her cheek like a flail;
Or listen at whiles
with a thought-bound brow,
to the murmuring miles
she is far from us now.

Yet her shade, maybe,
will glide underground
till it catch the sound
of that Western sea
as it swells and sobs
where she once domiciled,
and joy in it throbs
with the heart of a child.


I found her out there
From Satires of Circumstance, Thomas Hardy's 1914 book of poems.

Home | CSM Exhibition