Chasing Silver Darlings
When autumn came, the sea would swell
by Patrick Ladbrooke
With the harvest to deliver,
And the air was filled with herring smell,
From quays along the river.
Each morning tide was fruitful
As the fleet steamed into port,
All holds filled a' brimful
With the red-gilled herring caught.
Garrulous Scottish fisher girls
A'splitting and a'gutting,
With headscarves binding Celtic curls,
Their hands quicksilver cutting.
Barrels filled and salted in,
Capped and rolled in stack,
The relentless chase resulted in
Those shoals not coming back.
And now the ghostly quay
Serves new masters, oil and gas,
Steam drifters in the memory,
Of the aging herring lass.