John Masefield: "Sea Fever"



I must go down to the sea again,

to the lonely sea and 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 the gray mist on the sea's face and a gray 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:

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 a quiet steep and a sweet dream when the long trick's over.