Out of the heaving dusk, toward the pier,
With sun in heart, and sunrise on each keel,
The herring boats flock home for morning meal;
Above the rosy rooftrees, as they near,
The blue smoke curls. They close their wings and
With labouring oar; they catch the loud appeal
Of loungers, asking of their woe or weal,
The children’s laughter, and the fishwives’ cheer.
Scaled o’er with silver, see, the skipper stands,
While the loud bell proclaims the sample fair;
Moveless of lip, he hears his net’s supply
Measured against a nation’s whole demands;
And soon the town takes up the joyous cry,
And “Herrings fine!” is ringing thro’ the air.
(Sonnets Round the Coast, p. 174)