Masefield, a British poet who was named Poet Laureate of Great Britain in 1930, wrote poetry as well as adult novels, children’s fantasy stories, dramas, and memoir. “Masefield took his appointment (as Poet Laureate) seriously and produced a large quantity of verse. Poems composed in his official capacity were sent to The Times. Masefield’s modesty was shown by inclusion of a stamped envelope with each submission so that his composition could be returned if it were found unacceptable for publication.” (Wikipedia)
Isn’t that a lovely story, and the mark of a true gentleman? The following poem is one of Masefield’s most famous, called “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.”