For my part, I travel not to go anywhere, but to go. I travel for travel's sake. The great affair is to move. ROBERT LOUIS STEVENSON

Sunday, 1 June 2014

Sea Fever (1)

Here are some of my favourite out-of-copyright poems. I'd like to share them with you. This first was one of my mother's favourites too.

Sea Fever

I must go down to the seas again, to the lonely sea and the sky,
And all I ask is a tall ship and a star to steer her by;
And the wheel’s kick and the wind’s song and the white sail’s shaking,
And a grey mist on the sea’s face, and a grey dawn breaking.

I must go down to the seas again, for the call of the running tide
Is a wild call and a clear call that may not be denied;
And all I ask is a windy day with the white clouds flying,
And the flung spray and the blown spume, and the sea-gulls crying.

I must go down to the seas again, to the vagrant gypsy life,
To the gull’s way and the whale’s way where the wind’s like a whetted knife;
And all I ask is a merry yarn from a laughing fellow-rover,
And quiet sleep and a sweet dream when the long trick’s over.

JOHN MASEFIELD

6 comments:

am said...

A favorite of mine, too. I am guessing it was first read to me from a Childcraft book of poetry:

http://copycatcollector.blogspot.com/2012/03/collection-188-vintage-childcraft-books.html

Seems that this poem has been with me all of my life.

Thank you for this, Solitary Walker.

The Solitary Walker said...

This poem has always tugged at my romantic heart, Am!

'I must go down to the seas again, to the vagrant gypsy life...'

sackerson said...

Me too. I left my shoes and socks there. I wonder if they're dry?

(Sorry. It just sort of pops out whenever this wonderful poem gets a mention).

The Solitary Walker said...

Your shoes and socks were swept away long ago, Dominic. (I remember our conversation about barefoot running!)

It's a great poem, I think — wildly romantic, but with a big toe firmly stuck in reality too, as Masefield had had a seafaring life. And the yearning of it has me reaching for my vagrant boots...

catharus said...

Yes, a favorite of mine (!), but as a kid, I learned it as a song, and so it always stays with me...

Thanks!

The Solitary Walker said...

Welcome, Catharus, and thanks for your comment!