by Alfred Perceval Graves (1846 - 1931)

Herring our king
Language: English  after the English 
Let all the best fish that swim in the sea,
The salmon and turbot, the cod and ling,
Bow down the head and bend the knee
Before fine fresh herring our king.

Then lads and lassies come begin
Your “hungamar féin am sowra lin;”
For ‘tis we have tempted summer in
At the tail of fine fresh herring.

Thro’ all the winter we ran to rack,
For sure the herring was out of sight!
But oh! upon his silver track
The moon she winked last night.

It was in with the sails and away to shore,
Away, away with the rise and swing
Of two stout lads at each smoking oar,
After fine, fresh herring, our king;

Oh, there we hunted him full to land ,
In hissing shoals hot haste along;
And then behind him from strand to strand
We spread our nets so strong.

Such kissing of hands and waving of caps
Was never seen from girl and boy,
As he leapt by scores in the lasses’ laps,
Fresh herring our hope and joy.

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Musical settings (art songs, Lieder, mélodies, (etc.), choral pieces, and other vocal works set to this text), listed by composer (not necessarily exhaustive)

Researcher for this text: Mike Pearson

This text was added to the website: 2015-04-08
Line count: 24
Word count: 176