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 gray mist on the sea's face, and a gray dawn breaking.


I must down go 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.


By John Masefield


Classic Poets Secondary Schools John Masefield Sailing Ship Sea Index Performance Poetry Meet John Masefield

1878 - 1967



By John Masefield