Songs of the Common Day, and Ave!

An Ode for the Shelley Centenary

by Charles G.D. Roberts


 

THE HERRING WEIR


 

BACK to the green deeps of the outer bay
     The red and amber currents glide and cringe,
     Diminishing behind a luminous fringe
Of cream-white surf and wandering wraiths of spray.
Stealthily, in the old reluctant way,
5
     The red flats are uncovered, mile on mile,
     To glitter in the sun a golden while.
Far down the flats, a phantom sharply gray,
The herring weir emerges, quick with spoil.
     Slowly the tide forsakes it. Then draws near,
10
     Descending from the farm-house on the height,
A cart, with gaping tubs. The oxen toil
     Sombrely o'er the level to the weir,
     And drag a long black trail across the light.