Dawn on the Marsh

In the east creeps softly the dawn’s first light
A sign the night is dying
The west is steeped in the throes of night
With the piping curlew crying.

The grey sea tolls like a far ship’s bell
From here to the coast of Mourne,
The widgeon pitch on the oily swell
From their flight before the dawn.

The marsh is dark with silver streaks
Where the long pools shine in the gloaming
The darting, quivering redshank shrieks
At the lonely marsh owl roaming.

Mallard flight as the day is born
On mysterious whistling wings.
The sky is pink with the early morn,
Night has come for nocturnal things.

H.H. Tetlow