• Duration: 20 minutes
  • Chorus: SATB
  • Instrumentation: Two Pianos
  • Published: Hawes Music

Written for the Tynemouth Choral Society‘s Silver Anniversary in 1992, this work depicts the people and two main industries in that area of mining and fishing.  The words, by Patrick’s brother Andrew, are based on the coat-of-arms of the old County Borough of Tynemouth which depicts a minor and a sailor to signify the county’s historic roots, with the motto Messis ab Altis (Harvests from the Deep).

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Living silver lies
in ever-climbing valleys of salt-ice.
In silent stillness,
it seams, glides, moves,
below the brown buffet,
the shock, spray, spume.

Miners search
the unseen shimmer.
Men apart,
befriending death
in wind and wave.

In breaking days,
they draw near,
drenched by disappointment
of the strain and strain
by light and night.

Yet from East’s horizon
they can rise
and greet St Mary’s light
with rough-voiced cry,
their decks with silver
stacked up high.

And as they land
where moon tides
never turn,
the silent shoals,
a metal net is shot,
heavy with men plummeting
to the silver black.

the heaving sea
a harvest is hewn
in close-aired dangers
by submariners in rock,
whose strain and strain
in endless night
keep home fires warm.

Till drawn up
from the dark,
drinking the hard sea air,
they greet the evening light
like early dawn.

Words: Andrew Hawes (1954 –  )