Seagulls

(1985)

"Seagulls" is the fourth song of David Leisner's song cycle Outdoor Shadows, which sets the poetry of Robert Francis.

Seagulls
by Robert Francis


Between the under and the upper blue
All day the seagulls climb and swerve and soar,
Arc intersecting arc, curve over curve.


And you may watch them weaving a long time
And never see their pattern twice the same
And never see their pattern once imperfect.


Take any moment they are in the air.
If you could change them, if you had the power,
How would you place them other than they are?


What we have labored all our lives to have
And failed, these birds effortlessly achieve:
Freedom that flows in form and still is free.


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