The Humber

In times of peril did they vigil keep
Now, with shuttered eyes they sleep
Yet, stalwart stand to north and south
Marking time in the Humber Mouth
The sentinel forts of 'Haile' and 'Bull'
While foreign traders, bellies full,
Plough inland for port of Hull,
Silhouettes in line astern
Riding the tide past Point of Spurn,
Where the lighthouse tower,
Long deplete, stands forlorn.
 On southern shore, a windswept land
 Of grass spiked, shifting, dunes of sand
 Where wary waders wisely shun
The treacherous sands off Humberston.
Curlew and Kingfisher overlook
The whelping seals of Donna Nook
Where new-age warriors sweep the skies
Lest threats of peril new arise
Yet to their acts indifferent,
Succoured by the Ouse and Trent,
The Humber flows eternally
From 'Watersmeet' to eastern sea.
Though meddling hands try every trick
To link her arms (ad politic)
Great Humber, steadfast, perseveres
With Yorkshire cleft from Lincolnshire.

Terry Watkins

Author's Notes: For those unfamiliar with the Humber region, during World War One, two forts were built in the Humber Estuary , one to the north off Spurn Point,' Bull Sands Fort', and one to the south off Humberston, ' Haile Sands Fort'. These were to guard the River mouth from enemy shipping.

On the south bank, Donna Nook is part of a Nature Reserve well known for its bird life and attracts many visitors during the autumn/winter season when the seals come ashore to give birth.

Seemingly in complete contradiction, this area is also used as a practice bombing range by the RAF which has an airfield close by. (Not using live bombs I trust).  

'Watersmeet' is the area so called because this is where the rivers Trent and Ouse meet to form the Humber.  

North Lincolnshire, for some years joined with part of South East Yorkshire, to form 'Humberside County,' is now an independent region.