Soft is the sky in the mist-kirtled east,
Light is abroad on the sea,
All of the heaven with silver is fleeced,
Holding the sunrise in fee.
Lo! with a flash and uplifting of wings
Down where the long ripples break,
Cometh a bevy of glad-hearted things,
‘Tis morn, for the gulls are awake.
Slumberous calm on the ocean and shore
Comes with the turn of the tide;
Never a strong-sweeping pinion may soar,
Where the tame fishing-boats ride!
Far and beyond in blue deserts of sea
Where the wild winds are at play,
There may the spirits of sea-birds be free
‘Tis noon, for the gulls are away.
Over the rim of the sunset is blown
Sea-dusk of purple and gold,
Speed now the wanderers back to their own,
Wings the most tireless must fold.
Homeward together at twilight they flock,
Sated with joys of the deep
Drowsily huddled on headland and rock
‘Tis night, for the gulls are asleep.