A Poem for a Thursday #42

Photo by Jamie Morrison on Unsplash
John Masefield was a British poet and the poet laureate of the U.K. from 1930-1967. He also wrote some novels of adventure, autobiographical works, and novels for children. As a young man, he was apprenticed on a sailing ship and one of his best-known poems brings that to mind.

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 wheels 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.

Sea Fever
John Masefield

Here is Reese's selection at Typings.


  1. I remember this from school, but its great to read it again as an adult, as it brings fresh insights. Thanks for posting it.

    1. I am glad you enjoyed it. I am sure I must have read it in school or at some other point but it was only vaguely familiar to me.