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,
The red flats are uncovered, mile on mile,
To glitter in the sun a golden while.
Far down the flats, a phantom sharply grey,
The herring weir emerges, quick with spoil.
Slowly the tide forsakes it. Then draws near,
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.

by Sir Charles GD Roberts

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