And all I ask is a winding path and a star to see her by;
It´s a long road, it´s a hard road, it´s a strange road to the end,
And all I ask is a loaf of bread and a jug of wine, my friend.
The wind is whistling through the oaks, the larks are singing sweet,
And all I ask is a stranger´s smile and some balm for my aching feet.
How dark the soul in the dead of night! But how bright the morning sun!
And all I ask is a warm bed before the day is done.
I must go down to the South again, the Camino is calling me,
Down to a place of love and grace where the heart beats wild and free,
And all I ask is a rinsed-clean mind, and some clarity of thought,
And a book and a staff and a scallop shell, and to find what it was I sought.
John Masefield wrote reams of poems which are little read today - perhaps deservedly so in most cases. They haven´t really stood the test of time, and are not today´s style at all. But two of his poems I´m rather fond of: Cargoes, which I recall having to learn at school - it´s a dazzling little poem, full of onomatopoeia - and Sea Fever, which I remember my mother used to recite (she was of a romantic turn of mind, and was forever escaping a humdrum existence by immersing herself in a world of novels and poetry). I´ve parodied Sea Fever in the poem above, which I knocked together in my head today as I walked from Mérida to Aljucén. As far as I remember, Sea Fever begins: I must go down to the sea again, to the lonely sea and the sky, / And all I ask is a tall ship and a star to steer her by...
(Posted from Aljucén, on the Vía de la Plata, Spain.)