Al Que Quiere!/Gulls

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Al Que Quiere!  (1917) 
William Carlos Williams
Gulls
Boston: The Four Seas Company pages 18-19

My townspeople, beyond in the great
 world,
are many with whom it were far more
profitable for me to live than here with
 you.
These whirr about me calling, calling!
and for my own part I answer them,
 loud as I can,
but they, being free, pass!
I remain! Therefore, listen!
For you will not soon have another
 singer.

First I say this: you have seen
the strange birds, have you not, that
 sometimes
rest upon our river in winter?

Let them cause you to think well then
 of the storms
that drive many to shelter. These things
do not happen without reason.

And the next thing I say is this:
I saw an eagle once circling against the
 clouds
over one of our principal churches—
Easter, it was—a beautiful day!—:
three gulls came from above the river
and crossed slowly seaward!
Oh, I know you have your own hymns, I
 have heard them—
and because I knew they invoked some
 great protector
I could not be angry with you, no matter
how much they outraged true music—

You see, it is not necessary for us to leap
 at each other,
and, as I told you, in the end
the gulls moved seaward very quietly.