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NOAA's Ark Album

A medley of seal songs in "The White Seal"
by Rudyard Kipling

Seal Lullaby

Oh! hush thee my baby, the night is behind us;

And black are the waters that sparkled so green;

The moon, o'er the combers, looks downward to find us
At rest in the hollows that rustle between.

Where billow meets billow, then soft be thy pillow,
Ah, weary wee flipperling, curl at thy ease!

The storm shall not wake thee, nor shark over- take thee,
Asleep in the arms of the slow-swinging seas!

baby seal


You mustn't swim till you're six weeks old,
Or your head will be sunk by your heels;
And summer gales and Killer Whales
Are bad for baby seals.

Are bad for baby seals, dear rat,
As bad as bad can be;
But splash and grow strong,
And you can't be wrong.
Child of the Open Sea!



I met my mates in the morning (and, oh, but I am old!)
Where roaring on the ledges the summer ground swell rolled.
I heard them lift the chorus that drowned the breakers' song - The Beaches of Lukannon - two million voices strong.

The song of pleasant stations beside the salt lagoons,
The song of blowing squadrons that shuffled down the dunes,
The song of midnight dances that churned the sea to flame -
The Beaches of Lukannon - before the sealers came!

I met my mates in the morning (I'll never meet them more!).
They came and went in legions that darkened all the shore.
And o'er the foam-flecked offing as far as voice could reach
We hailed the landing parties and we sang them up the beach.

The Beaches of Lukannon - the winter wheat so tall,
The dripping, crinkled lichens, and the sea fog drench- ing all!
The platforms of our playground, all shining smooth and worn!
The Beaches of Lukannon - the home where we were born!

I met my mates in the morning, a broken, scattered band.
Men shoot us in the water and club us on the land;
Men drive us to the Salt House like silly sheep and tame,
And still we sing Lukannon - before the sealers came.

Wheel down, wheel down to southward - O Goove- rooska, go!
And tell the Deep Sea Viceroys the story of our woe.
Ere empty as the shark's egg the tempest flings ashore,
The Beaches of Lukannon shall know their sons no more!

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Last Updated:
September 30, 2009